The University Record, March 11, 1997

Kelsey exhibition explores gender in ancient Egypt

photo, A gilded plaster face mask from the late Ptolemaic-Early Roman period is part of the Kelsey's exhibition "Women and Gender in Ancient Egypt: From Prehistory to Late Antiquity" opens at the Kelsey Museum Friday (March 14). Women occupied a unique position in ancient Egyptian society, with greater legal, social and economic autonomy than anywhere else in the ancient world.

Drawing on the Kelsey's collection of Egyptian artifacts and items from the Library's Papryology Collection, the exhibition, which continues through June 15, explores issues relating to the construction and definition of gender in both pharonic and Graeco-Roman Egypt. The show features artifacts from the sites of Karanis, Terenouthis and Dimai, excavated by University archaeologists during the 1920s and 1930s.

Birth certificates, tombstones, coins, papyri, grave goods, fertility figures, amulets and other objects combine to help scholars understand the importance of gender in ancient Egypt.

In conjunction with the exhibition opening, Jennifer A. Sheridan, Wayne State University, will give a lecture, "Not at a Loss for Words: The Economic Power of Literate Women in Late Antique Egypt," at 7 p.m. Friday in Auditorium C, Angell Hall. A reception at the Kesley Museum follows.

The exhibition and corresponding lecture series, "Women and Gender in Antiquity," are co-sponsored by the Institute for Research on Women and Gender.