Egyptologists Join Together at the University of Pennsylvania Museum to Share Insight into Newest Research and Understandings about the Amarna Period at Public Symposium

07 MARCH 2007, PHILADELPHIA, PA—Of all the times in ancient Egypt’s long history, the Amarna Period (circa 1353 to 1336 BCE) is one of the most intriguing. In little more than a generation, the religious, artistic, and political order of Egyptian civilization was radically altered—and then restored. Egyptologists continue to make important discoveries about this time—and to debate their meaning.

On Saturday, March 31, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology hosts a gathering of prominent Egyptologists from two continents, offering a variety of perspectives on this revolutionary period. “Amarna: New Research and Discoveries in the Age of Akhenaten and Tutankhamun,” a full day public symposium, is co-sponsored by Archaeology Magazine and the Center for Ancient Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

The symposium was organized to complement Penn Museum’s special exhibition, “Amarna, Ancient Egypt’s Place in the Sun,” and its Year of Egypt events, as Penn Museum partners with Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute Science Museum, host, through September 30, 2007, of the blockbuster, nationally traveled exhibition “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs.”

Tickets to “Amarna: New Research and Discoveries in the Age of Akhenaten and Tutankhamun” are $50; $35 for Penn Museum members. Penn Museum admission—including admission to the newly refurbished ancient Egyptian galleries and “Amarna, Ancient Egypt’s Place in the Sun” is included in the symposium admission price. Tickets can be ordered by phone at 215/898-4890 or online, at

The three Penn Museum curators of “Amarna, Ancient Egypt’s Place in the Sun” will be among the symposium speakers. Introducing the program, and offering the final talk, “Innovations in the Decoration of Tutankhamun’s Tomb,” is Dr. David Silverman, the Eckley Coxe Jr. Curator in charge of the Egyptian section at Penn Museum, and the national curator of the traveling blockbuster exhibition, “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs,” now at The Franklin Institute Science Museum in Philadelphia.

Dr. Josef Wegner, Associate Curator in Penn Museum’s Egyptian section, an archaeologist, and organizer of the symposium, offers a talk, “The Magic of the Moment: What Happened when Akhenaten Founded Amarna?”

Dr. Jennifer Houser Wegner, Research Scientist in the Museum Egyptian section and the third curator of the Amarna exhibition, details a recent collections-based discovery made during research for the exhibition, with her talk, “The Philadelphia Sunshade Stela of Princess Meritaten: Mystery of a Lost Royal Building.”

Other speakers include:

Betsy Bryan, John Hopkins University, "On the Eve of Amarna—The Rulership of Amenhotep III and Tiye"

Donald Redford (Pennsylvania State University), “The Karnak Years: New Light on the Inception of Akhenaten’s Program”

Kate Spence (University of Cambridge), “Social Interaction at Akhenaten’s Court: New Research on the Palaces and Houses of Amarna”

Alain Zivie (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris), “New Keys in Understanding the Amarna Age at Saqqara”

Martin Raaven (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Netherlands), “New Light on the Amarna Period at Memphis: the Tomb of Meryneith at Saqqara”

and Ellen Morris (Columbia University), “Of Plagues, Pleas and Priorities in Akhenaten’s Empire.”

The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, located at 3260 South Streets on the Penn campus in Philadelphia, is dedicated to the study and understanding of human history and diversity. Founded in 1887, the Museum has sent more than 400 archaeological and anthropological expeditions to all the inhabited continents of the world. With an active exhibition schedule and educational programming for children and adults, the Museum offers the public an opportunity to share in the ongoing discovery of humankind's collective heritage. For general information, visitors may call (215) 898-4000, or visit the Museum’s award-winning website at


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(215) 898-4000


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