Jacqueline (Jackie) Jay, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Ancient History Eastern Kentucky University, spoke at the Toledo Art Museum.
Her lecture was: “The World Turned Topsy-Turvy: The TMA’s First Intermediate Period Sculptures in Context".
Abstract: In a later literary text, a wise man describes Egypt’s First Intermediate Period (ca. 2181–2055 BC) as a time in which the world was turned topsy-turvy and the land rotated like a potter’s wheel. Maidservants wore jewels, while their mistresses slept on the ground. Early Egyptologists took these descriptions at face value and characterized the period as a “dark age,” a fall from the heights of the Pyramid Age of the Old Kingdom. More recently, however, examinations of archaeological evidence have yielded a very different picture: during the First Intermediate Period, grave goods certainly were of poorer quality, but, as a result, resources were more evenly divided, with more people having access to them. This talk will consider the First Intermediate period through the lens of its artefactual record, paying particular attention to the Toledo Museum of Art’s superb painted stelae of Ai and Tat and of Zezen-Nakht.