We continue our lecture season on Friday, March 23, at 7pm, with a talk by Dr. Mary-Ann Pouls Wegner on Rebirth and Transformation in the Abydos Landscape. We look forward to seeing you there! See the event poster here.


mary-ann-pouls-wegner-u-of-tDr. Mary-Ann Pouls Wegner (UofT)


Friday, March 23 at 7 pm


Sidney Smith Hall
Room 2105
100 St. George Street
Toronto, ON


Building on archaeological evidence from the Abydos Votive Zone Project, this lecture presents an innovative analysis of the spatial organization of the ceremonial center of Abydos during the New Kingdom, and relates these findings to the much broader question of the ways in which sacred landscapes functioned within the ancient Egyptian context.  The contribution of the research extends to enhancing our understanding of how ritual informed the ancient built environment and how social and religious structures are reflected and replicated in the features of complex ceremonial landscapes. The analysis examines evidence for correlations between the geography of the built and natural environment of Abydos and the remains of ritual activity that are preserved in the archaeological record from the site.  Spatial analysis sensitive to the specific provenience of textual data and artifactual material allows for the identification of distinct functionally-defined regions of the sacred landscape of the site, and links those regions to areas in the conceptual realm of the Duat as it was portrayed in contemporary funerary literature.  The research therefore presents a new framework within which to understand the built environment and the significant evidence of ancient votive activity at Abydos as evocations of the mythical landscape in which the deceased was successfully transformed. Reading the geography of North Abydos as a reflection of the landscape of the Duat has significant potential to expand our understanding of the interrelated functions of specific elements of the built environment as well as the geographical points where individuals sought access to the divine.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Mary-Ann Pouls Wegner has been a professor at the University of Toronto’s Dept. of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations since 2000. She is also Project Director of the North Abydos Cultic Zone Project, University of Pennsylvania-Yale University-Institute of Fine Arts, New York University Expedition to Abydos.

(Biographical image from UofT’s Professor Profile)



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