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Intellect

BYU hosts Egypt Excavation Conference Nov. 18

To discuss findings at Old Kingdom pyramid of Seila

Brigham Young University’s Department of Ancient Scripture has announced a 2010 Egypt Excavation Conference Thursday, Nov. 18, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in the Harold B. Lee Library Auditorium.

Conference presenters will be members of the excavation team, including C. Wilfred Griggs and David M. Whitchurch, Department of Ancient Scripture; R. Paul Evans, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Biology; Giovanni Tata, BYU Creative Works; Joyce Smith and Kristin South, Honors and Undergraduate Education; and several student researchers.

Admission is free. A complete schedule of events is available at religion.byu.edu/event46.

Since 1981, the Egypt Excavation Project has excavated the Old Kingdom pyramid of Seila, built around 2500 B.C., as well as hundreds of late Roman and early Christian burials from an ancient necropolis south of Cairo. The site includes two large Greco-Roman cemeteries and Middle Kingdom tombs. The project, to date, has resulted in the discovery of more than 1,700 burials that are helping researchers understand circumstances that led to early Christianity in Egypt.

“The conference is a presentation of the different pieces of the puzzle found in our research,” said Griggs, director of the Egypt Excavation Project. “The big picture will continue to emerge in years to come. This year isn’t the beginning, nor is it the end. The conference represents a work in progress.”

“We are finding that Christians in this cemetery are buried in ceremonial clothes that reflect practices of early Christianity coming to light elsewhere,” Griggs said. “Our purpose is to go and dig up the sand to know more about their culture, which corroborates early Christianity.”

Session topics include “DNA, Dyes and Data: A 2010 Perspective,” “Can Face Bundles and Ribbons Be Used as Markers of Christianity?” and “Pile Weave from Fag el-Gamous Cemetery, Fayum, Egypt,” among others. A question-and-answer session with the presenters will also be available.

For more information, contact C. Wilfred Griggs at cwgriggs@hotmail.com or phone (801) 422-3368.

Writer: Philip Volmar

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