As part of our mission statement, the Toronto Chapter organizes three series of lectures each year to correspond with the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. Most events are free and open to the public, and they represent Egyptological scholarship worldwide.

The SSEA Toronto is pleased to announce the return of in person lectures (though some will still be held via Zoom for parts of the year). Lectures will take place on the University of Toronto St. George Campus. We look forward to welcoming you back and seeing some familiar faces and some new ones as well.

Please note our Annual Meeting of Ontario Members will be held on November 4, 2022 at 7 pm.

Fall 2022

Lecture – Buying Power: Archaeologists as Dealers in Egypt and Sudan (finished)

  • Who? Dr. Daniel Potter (National Museums Scotland)
  • When? Thursday, September 22, 2022 at 7 pm (EDT)
  • Where? Sidney Smith 2105 (University of Toronto)
  • Abstract: Exhibitions and displays of Egyptian objects in museums across the world continue to inspire awe and fascination for millions of visitors. As museums tell the stories of the ancient world, they also tell their own collecting stories of how the objects came to be part of their collections. These narratives have focused on the heroic, scientific achievements of individuals. This approach has meant that another part of history has been ignored, hidden, or simply downplayed as the very same archaeological heroes were often involved enthusiastically in buying and selling antiquities. This lecture will begin by exploring the activities of several excavator-collectors who impacted the formation of Scotland’s national collection: curator Edwin Ward, archaeologists/academics John Garstang and William Matthew Flinders Petrie, and the Canadian collector-for-hire Charles Trick Currelly. It will share the stories of their purchases and sales in full, linking their work in Egypt to Scotland, Europe, and Canada. The lecture will also start to answer some key questions for the history of Egyptology and museums: How did these individuals engage with the antiquities market? How did they view their transactions ethically? And importantly, how does this hidden collecting history impact what we see in museum displays today?
  • Speaker Bio: Dr. Dan Potter is Assistant Curator of the Ancient Mediterranean at National Museums Scotland. He studied for his BA, MA and PhD at the University of Liverpool. He has conducted research focussing on the Ramesside language of religion, ancient prosopography and the history of Egyptological collecting and museum display. Having worked as a Continuing Education lecturer at the University of Liverpool and as a Curatorial Assistant at the Garstang Museum of Archaeology, he joined National Museums Scotland, where he worked to deliver the ‘Ancient Egypt Rediscovered’ gallery which opened in 2019.  He was the Lead Curator of ‘Discovering Ancient Egypt’, a 2019–2021 National Museums Scotland touring exhibition exploring the history of Egyptology in Scotland. During this time, he also produced a review of Egyptian objects in Scottish museums as part of an innovative NMS national programme. He is the Principal Investigator in the AHRC funded ‘Buying Power: The Business of British Archaeology and the Antiquities Market in Egypt and Sudan 1880-1939’.

Lecture – A Study of diplomatic alliances threw marriages during the 21st dynasty (FINISHED) 

  • Who? Véronique Lacroix (PhD Student at Université du Québec à Montréal and U. Paris-Sorbonne)
  • When? Thursday, October 27, 2022 at 7 pm (EDT)
  • Where? Sidney Smith 2105 (University of Toronto)
  • Abstract:
  • After having known a period of economic et politic prosperity during the New Kingdom (-1550 to -1069) Egypt now has to face during the 21st dynasty a period of instability characterized by a fragmentation of central power. Thus, the pharaoh maintains control of the northern part of Egypt while the great priests of Amun seize power in the south. This shift in the structure of power leads to a series of changes in internal and external politics. While diplomatic relationships where once regulated by strict rules and, most of all, by the pharaoh only, it is only normal that the pharaonic ideology has to adapt to the new situation. It is possible to observe one of those modifications when studying matrimonial unions. With the decentralisation of power, we can see a change in the way political alliances threw marriages are conducted. Threw this lecture, I will elaborate on the different ways those changes occurred during the 21st dynasty, both on internal and external diplomatic matrimonial unions. To do so, I will mainly explore the unions between daughters of the northern pharaohs with the great priests of Amun in the south, and the particular case of a an Egyptian pharaoh’s daugther that came to marry the king of Israel, Salomon. Finally, threw this lecture, I will also question how many see this period in Egyptian history as one of lost of power and propose that we shift this talk towards one about the resilience of the pharaonic ideology.
  • About the Speaker: Véronique Lacroix is a PhD student in art history at UQAM, directed by Valérie Angenot and in cotutelle with Paris Sorbonne University, directed by Pierre Tallet. She is particularly interested in the history of women in Ancient Egypt. After a Master’s thesis on the role of foreign women in Egyptian matrimonial alliances, her doctoral research now focuses on the study of female royal iconography and the borrowings, by royal women, of the traditional male pharaonic visual discourse. Winner of the prestigious Luc-d’Iberville-Moreau scholarship in 2021, she currently devotes her time to pursue her researches, alternating stays between Montreal and Paris. She a member of the multidisciplinary research “Projet Wedjat” directed by Valérie Angenot and, since 2018, she is also a member of the “Great Hypostyle Hall Project” under the direction of Jean Revez and Peter Brand. 

lecture – Tutmania: How the discovery of Tutankhamun’s Tomb changed the last 100 years (Finished)

  • Who? Dr. Lynn Green
  • When? November 3, 2022
  • Where? Sidney Smith 2105 (University of Toronto)
  • Abstract: On 4th November 1922 KV62, the tomb of Tutankhamun, was discovered. The world has changed in uncountable ways since then, but how have those changes affected the way we view the discovery? Did the discovery of the tomb effect any changes of its own in the world around it? This presentation will follow the impact of the tomb’s discovery, excavation and contents on events and social trends over the past century.
  • About the Speaker: Lyn Green received her Ph.D. from the University of Toronto for a dissertation on the royal women of the end of the 18thDynasty, including the queens and princesses whose names are found in the Tomb of Tutankhamun. She has excavated at the sites of Tell el-Amarna and at East Karnak and worked for the Akhenaten Temple Project, researching the talatat blocks used to build the palaces and temples of Akhenaten at Thebes. She is the author of popular and scholarly articles, encyclopedia entries and book chapters on various aspects of the end of the 18th dynasty. She also has a long-standing interest in the reception of ancient Egypt in the modern world, expressed through presenting courses, lectures and the creation of a Facebook group, Egyptomania: Ancient Egypt in Modern Cultures. Currently she is a Research Associate of the Royal Ontario Museum.

there will be no lecture in decembeR

Spring 2023

Lecture – Incarnation, menarche, coronation and jubilees: a few insights into the end of the Amarna Period (finished)

  • Who? Dr. Valerie Angenot (Université du Québec à Montréal )
  • When? January 2023
  • Where? Zoom Lecture
  • Registration Link:
  • Abstract:
  • The Amarna Period has provided ample material, mostly of an ambiguous nature, which has lent itself to myriad interpretations. The difficulties that arise in revisiting previous constructs were most notably evident in my experience while reviewing the hotly-debated reign of queen-pharaoh Neferneferuaten. On the basis of a semiotic analysis of several statues and reliefs, I proposed in 2019 that two women—two sisters—ascended the throne of Egypt after Akhenaten’s demise, and that Queen-Pharaoh Neferneferuaten ought to be identified as former princess Neferneferuaten-Tasherit. This proposal evoked mixed reactions, from approval or careful consideration to strong opposition. The lack of credence of the latter notably lies in the fact that my arguments dwelled majorly on artistic productions of the period, as iconographic arguments are more often than not frowned upon as being unreliable in comparison to textual evidence. 
  • In this lecture, I wish to make an initial review of my arguments in this sensitive debate, while reaffirming their validity. I will then examine a few watershed events of the late Amarna Period and demonstrate how such events progressed in a rational sequence, not only with regard to their logical course, but also at the global epistemological level. Notably, I will explore the transformative role of the heb sed in the New Kingdom. Akhenaten’s heb sed marked his complete merger with the sun god, while the increasingly probable celebration of a jubilee by Neferneferuaten might have been the occasion to make adjustments to the royal reference schemes. 
  • This discussion will thus include the rationale behind the potential accession of a pre-pubescent princess to the rank of pharaoh, and also reflect upon the adoption of a different archetypal model for a dual queenship. As a matter of fact, in the last three years following my initial proposal, the proponents of the different theories regarding the identity of Queen-Pharaoh Neferneferuaten have been compelled to admit that two women indeed reigned together (or in the opinion of some, that one sole female ruler combined the roles of pharaoh and royal spouse) before Tutankhamun ascended the throne. 
  • About the Speaker: Valérie ANGENOT holds a PhD in Egyptology from the University of Brussels, Belgium. She is the director of the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in Semiotic Studies and professor at the Department of Art History at the Université du Québec à Montréal, where she notably teaches ancient Egyptian art and the Semiotics of art. Her research interests focus on the hermeneutics of Egyptian iconography, and in particular on the study of tropes as cognitive mechanisms involved in the elaboration of (Egyptian) thought, images and language. She is the director of the Wedjat Project – Crossing Perspectives between Ancient Egypt and the Modern West, an experimental research in cognition and semiotics of the reception of images, using eye-tracking technologies. This project is part of a museum programme in partnership with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. It was through a semiotic analysis of some contentious Amarna works of art, that she discovered, in 2019, that two of Akhenaten’s daughters might have succeeded him on the throne of Egypt, before the reign of Tutankhamun (a study presented at ARCE 2019 in Alexandria, VA).

Lecture – The Re-Establishment of Power: The Autobiography of Ankhtifi and the Maxims of Ptah-Hotep (finished)

  • Who?  Stephen Ficalora (PhD Candidate, University of Toronto)
  • When? February 16, 2023  at 7:00 PM
  • Where? Sidney Smith 2108 (University of Toronto) and Virtually on Zoom
  • Registration Link:
  • Abstract: The Maxims of Ptah-Hotep first appeared in the Twelfth Dynasty of the Middle Kingdom have traditionally been interpreted as moral teachings for officials. However, the literary theory, New Historicism, can be used to provide new insights into the origins of this text. By reading the text alongside autobiographies from the First Intermediate Period and the early Middle Kingdom, one can see how power was maintained and restored during a period of weak central authority. Using the autobiography of the First Intermediate Period nomarch Ankhtifi as an example, we can understand the cultural and historical significance of the Maxims of Ptah-Hotep as reflecting a period in which provincial rulers were responsible for maintaining the kingdom.
  • About the Speaker: Stephen Ficalora received his MA in History and Museum Studies from the University of Memphis in 2013 and his MA in Egyptology from the University of Toronto in 2014. In 2013 he participated on the UQAM and the University of Memphis joined epigraphic mission to the Temple of Karnak. He has worked as a researcher at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN and as a gallery assistant at the Royal Ontario Museum. He is an Emerging Research Historian at Heritage Toronto and is currently completing his PhD in Egyptology at the University of Toronto.

Lecture – Flooded Temples: Disaster, Omen, and Prevention

  • Who?  Dr. Kei Yamamoto
  • When? Thursday, March 16, 2023 at 7 PM
  • Where? Sidney Smith 2108 (University of Toronto) and Virtually on Zoom
  • Registration Link:
  • Abstract:
  • We know from historical paintings and photographs that some ancient Egyptian temples frequently suffered flooding in modern times. In fact, ancient texts and archaeological evidence indicate that a few temples were occasionally inundated even during the pharaonic era. How did ancient kings and priests view those potentially disastrous events, and what are modern archaeologists and engineers doing to manage excess water at these sites? Focusing mainly on Theban monuments, particularly the memorial temple of Amenhotep III, this lecture explores how Nile floods impacted religious monuments, what ancient Egyptians might have known and thought about their effects, and how they might have tried to avert catastrophic situations caused by especially high inundations.
  • About the Speaker: Kei Yamamoto (PhD in Egyptology, University of Toronto) is an editor of the Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections and a collaborator of the international ScanPyramids Project. He was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow and subsequently Lila Acheson Wallace Research Associate at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where he co-curated the major exhibition “Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom.” As the University of Arizona, he also led a multi-disciplinary research project on an 11th Dynasty coffin. More recently, he worked as a curatorial consultant at the Grand Egyptian Museum, where he advised Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in developing the museum’s permanent exhibitions.

Lecture – TBA

  • Who? Dr. Peter Brand
  • When? April 2023
  • Where? Sidney Smith 2105 ( University of Toronto) and Virtually on Zoom
  • Registration Link:  
  • Abstract:  
  • About the Speaker:

LECTURE – The tomb of Tutankhamun in context

  • Who? Dr. Aidan Dodson (University of Bristol)
  • When? May 2 2023 at 7:00 PM
  • Where? Sidney Smith 2105 ( University of Toronto) and Virtually on Zoom
  • Abstract: The spectacle of an all-but-intact royal tomb raises the important question of how representative it was of other kings’ tombs of the period. In this lecture we will explore the ways in which the tomb and its contents represented a continuation of what had gone before the fracture represented by the Amarna Period, in what ways it innovated, how it may have been shaped by circumstance, how it hinted at a way forward – and where it is seemingly unique.
  • About the Speaker: Aidan Dodson is honorary full Professor of Egyptology in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Bristol, UK, was Simpson Professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo in 2013, and Chair of the Egypt Exploration Society during 2011-16. Awarded his PhD by the University of Cambridge in 2003, he was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London in 2003. He is the author of some 25 books.

Summer 2023

Lecture – TBA

  • Who?
  • When? June 2023
  • Where?
  • Registration Link:
  • Abstract:
  • About the Speaker:

Lecture – No lecture in july 2023

Lecture – no lecture in august 2023


2 thoughts on “2022-2023 Lecture Calendar

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s