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Ancient Egypt Society of Western Australia

We meet at 7pm on the first Wednesday
of each month (except January) at:

We meet at:

City West Lotteries House, 2 Delhi Street, West Perth.

There is ample free street parking around the venue.

COST:	Members $4.00, non-members $7.00
	Refreshments and biscuits will be provided.

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Current Lectures 2019

November 6 (Wednesday)

Pharaoh spears a lion

“The Ancient Egyptian Hunt”

Presented by Peter Bindon
Archaeologist, Anthropologist, Botanist

Lively hunting scenes are featured on the walls of many Egyptian tombs. Whether on foot or in chariots, Egyptians were clearly fond of pursuing desert game for the table. Tomb paintings also show spearfishing and fowling with throwsticks in the marshes. But there is more to these images than just getting a meal. Deserts and marshes represented the realms of chaos, and successfully capturing the animals that lived there identified the tomb owner with the forces of order and harmony.

The Pharaoh had an even greater duty to be seen triumphing over treacherous and destabilising forces in the natural world. Pharaohs hunted and killed prodigious numbers of large, dangerous animals, such as elephants, hippos, lions and wild bulls, not only to demonstrate bravery and skill, but to prove that the king could impose order on the forces of chaos.

Join Peter Bindon as he reveals the deep symbolic significance within scenes of the Ancient Egyptian hunt.

November 9 (SATURDAY)

Rosicrucian Egyptian Garden

“Gardening the Ancient Egyptian Way”

A Saturday Afternoon Presented by
Peter Bindon
Archaeologist, Anthropologist, Botanist

Peter will be presenting three talks about the importance of plants, gardens and their symbolism in Ancient Egypt. ‘Pharaoh’s Flowers’ will examine the remains of flowers and other plant remains from Tutankhamun’s tomb. The plant material that accompanied the boy king into the afterlife had symbolic functions connected to resurrection.

‘Building an Egyptian Garden’ describes Peter’s role in the design and construction of the Rosicrucian Egyptian Garden, which surrounds the Rosicrucian Museum in San Jose, California. This beautiful garden is the most accurate replica of an Ancient Egyptian garden ever built in modern times.

The afternoon will include two tea breaks (refreshments included) and Q&A sessions. Admission is $25 per person ($20 concession), payable at the door. Numbers are limited, so please RSVP before November 7 to

For more information, check our FACEBOOK page at: FACEBOOK

Previous Lectures 2019

October 2 (Wednesday)

Seti I at Abydos

“The Temples of Abydos”

Presented by Dean Kubank
AESWA Treasurer

The Ancient Egyptians believed that Abydos was the site where the murdered Osiris was restored to life by the powerful magic of his wife, Isis. Abydos became the centre of the cult of Osiris, where pilgrims flocked to access the god's numinous power for their own resurrection. From its shadowy origins in the Predynastic era to its abandonment in the late Roman period, the Egyptians built a series of temples and shrines on the site, leaving a complex archaeology that Egyptologists are still struggling to decipher. The most prominent surviving temples belong to Seti I and Ramesses II. These temples are renowned for their breathtaking reliefs and the historical importance of their inscriptions.

AESWA Treasurer Dean Kubank and AESWA Vice-President Ann Butcher have made several visits to Abydos and have captured the grandeur, beauty and mystery of the place in their splendid photos. Join us on October 2 when Dean guides us through the wonders of Abydos and reveals the temples' connection with the mysteries of Osiris.

September 4 (Wednesday)

Neiger pendant

“Hearts of Glass:
Identifying the Styles and Sources of the Neiger Brothers’ Egyptian Revival Jewellery”

Presented by Dr. Jasmine Day
AESWA President

Max and Norbert Neiger produced some of the finest examples of Bohemian glass jewellery in the early twentieth century in the bead-making capital of Europe, Gablonz (now Jablonec nad Nisou in the Czech Republic). Their repertoire included stunning Egyptian Revival beads and cabochons.

Decades before the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb created a worldwide craze for Egyptian-themed jewellery, the Neiger brothers were creating beautifully detailed, colourful pieces with authentic motifs. The advent of eBay and other online marketplaces has popularised Neiger jewellery among collectors worldwide, yet records of its production have been lost and little is known about the range, dates and sources of its Egyptianising motifs. Even distinguishing Neiger pieces from works by other Gablonz manufacturers is speculative.

Through stylistic analysis of her comparative collection of Egyptian Revival jewellery amassed over twenty years, Jasmine will tentatively identify key Neiger pieces, suggest their Egyptological sources and attempt to reconstruct their production sequence. We'll get to examine examples of Czech Egyptianising jewellery from Jasmine's own collection, and you'll be able to photograph them if you wish.

August 7 (Wednesday)

Akhenaton sacrificing a duck

“Amarna: Paradise or Purgatory?”

Presented by Dr. Patricia O’Neill
AESWA Executive Secretary and Science Officer

The Amarna Period, which comprises the reign of Akhenaten and his immediate successors, is the most contentious topic in Egyptology. The ‘heretic Pharaoh’ Akhenaten ushered in a religious revolution, substituting veneration of a single deity, the sun disk known as the Aten, in place of Egypt’s pantheon of traditional gods. He built a new city, Akhetaten, as his capital and instituted radical changes in architecture, art and language. He also lost the Egyptian Empire, wrecked the economy and earned the undying enmity of the Egyptian people. Some scholars have regarded Akhenaten as a brilliant philosopher-king who dreamed of peace and abundance. Others have denounced him as an obsessive despot who indulged his fanaticism at great cost to his people.

Was Akhenaten a visionary or a villain? Was his city, Akhetaten, paradise or purgatory? As teams of dedicated Egyptologists bring more evidence to light, a more nuanced, evidence-based evaluation of the Amarna Period is emerging.

July 3(Wednesday)

Egyptian dahabiya

“A Thousand Miles up the Nile”

Presented by John Mirosevich and Julie Gordon

The renowned British traveller, Amelia Edwards, travelled up the Nile from Cairo to Abu Simbel in a dahabiya (traditional sailing ship). In 1877, she published an immensely popular account of her journey, A Thousand Miles Up the Nile. Recently, AESWA members John Mirosevich and Julie Gordon joined a small group of adventurers, led by Egyptologist Dr. Michael Birrell, who replicated the journey of Amelia Edwards as far as possible, including travelling much of the way aboard a dahabiya.

From Minya to Abu Simbel, they cruised through 5000 years of history. Under Michael’s guidance, they visited sites associated with the broad sweep of Pharaonic history, from the Predynastic to the Ptolemaic eras. They also included Roman, Coptic and Islamic sites and noted the graffiti left by Napoleonic scholars and later visitors.

Join John and Julie as they take us up the legendary river that has intrigued travellers for centuries.

June 5 (Wednesday)

Goddess Nut from KV9

“The Valley of the Kings: A Quest for Immortality”

Presented by Dr. Michael Birrell

The 'Valley of the Kings' was a burial ground for pharaohs and selected courtiers of Egypt during the New Kingdom (1530-1100 BC). The Valley is located on the west bank of the Nile River, opposite modern-day Luxor. Many of the tombs were not only used for kings but for the burial of members of the royal household, wives, trusted advisers, nobles, and commoners. Most of the 64 tombs discovered in the valley were looted by ancient grave robbers (the notable exceptions being the tombs of Tutankhamun and his great-grandfather Yuya) but the real treasure found in the tombs is the stunning art and inscriptions. These extensive wall paintings and texts tell us virtually nothing about the lives of the individuals (since they contain very little biographical information), but allow us a glimpse into the religious aspirations of the people buried there—a quest for immortality.

May 1 (Wednesday)

Crux Ansata


Presented by Dr. Bill Leadbetter
Cathedral Scholar, Saint George’s Cathedral, Perth

The ancient Romans looked askance on native Egyptian religion, mocking their animal-headed gods. Some Romans, however, preferred to embrace Egyptian deities. Isis and Serapis were both worshipped throughout the Roman world. In Egypt itself, however, its ancient religion was in decline. The old temples were increasingly deserted while new expressions of religious faith began to emerge. One of these was Christianity.

It should not be thought that there was ever one Christianity in Egypt. There were many versions, as represented by the rich variety of literature in the papyrological corpus. Not only did some of these come together and grow into the institutional Coptic Church, which still exists in Egypt today, but a very important and influential strand of Christian monasticism was born in the deserts of Egypt.

Egypt played a most important role in the first four Christian centuries. This lecture will examine ancient expressions of Christianity in Egypt, identify some of the reasons for the growth of Christian communities in Egypt, and conclude with an assessment of the contribution of ancient Egyptian Christianity to the growth and history of the wider church.

April 3 (Wednesday)

The Ceiling of Medinet Habu

“MEDINET HABU: Temple, Fortress, Crime Scene”

Presented by Dean Kubank
AESWA Treasurer

The Great Temple of Medinet Habu was built on the West Bank at Luxor on a site revered as the burial place of the primeval creator gods. Originally intended as the mortuary temple of Egypt’s last great warrior Pharaoh, Ramesses III, the temple became the de facto treasury and centre of government during the Pharaoh’s chaotic reign.

Continuing unrest in Egypt turned the temple into fortress where people sought safety from marauding desert tribes. But the fortress failed to protect its most important occupant—within its walls, Ramesses III was brutally murdered in a plot masterminded by one of his wives. Later in history, the fortress-temple became a place of refuge for the craftsmen who worked on the royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings.

Join Dean as he takes us on a tour of this splendidly preserved monument where worship and warfare stand side-by-side.

March 6 (Wednesday)

Coffin of Hori


Presented by Dr. Jasmine Day
The Ancient Egypt Society of Western Australia

The Museu Nacional in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was originally a royal palace but later housed one of the most important Egyptian collections in the Americas. It featured a wide variety of artefacts and several significant coffins and human mummies.

In 2013, Dr Jasmine Day visited the museum while participating in the 8th International Congress on Mummy Studies; in 2018, the museum was tragically destroyed by fire.
Join us as we remember this magnificent collection with one of the most comprehensive photographic records of its Egyptian room. We will also take in highlights from the Mummy Congress and the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro.

February 6 (Wednesday)

Ancient Nile Boat


Presented by Becky Steven
Recording Secretary
The Ancient Egypt Society of Western Australia

Many of our members have fond memories of their cruise down the Nile, watching life on the riverbanks unfold much the same as it has for millennia. As we while away the hours, sunning ourselves on our deck chairs, what is going on behind the scenes? As we berth and unberth at Edfu, Esna or Abu Simbel, how do our captains manoeuvre their vessels? Somehow they manage to navigate in the dark, and avoid collisions with a flotilla of other vessels, large and small.

Egyptians mastered navigation on ‘Iteru’ (their name for the Nile) early in their history. Has life changed much for navigators? Let’s see what a modern navigator on a cruise vessel would have to say about it all!

Previous Lectures 2018

December 5 (Wednesday)

Xmas 2018

December 5, 7-9pm
City West Lotteries House

Party like an Ancient Egyptian as AESWA celebrates another terrific year of bringing Egyptology to Western Australia! AESWA members and their family members, partners and friends are all welcome to attend. We’ll have raffles, prizes, a lucky dip and plenty of fun with our fellow Egyptophiles. Please bring a plate of finger food to share.

November 7 (Wednesday)

Carter and the Mystic


Presented by Dr. Jasmine Day
The Ancient Egypt Society of Western Australia

Among the effects of Howard Carter sold at auction by Bonhams in 2012 was a series of letters written to Carter between 1925 and 1928 by the Swiss occultist and mystic Margit Labouchere (1893-1951). In her fourteen letters—to which Carter never replied—Labouchere strived to convince him that the mummy he had discovered was not that of Tutankhamun, which was buried in another location known only to her.
Labouchere never revealed this secret; her letters were brief, sometimes incoherent and difficult to interpret unless situated within the history of Edwardian occultism and power contests between Egyptology and its public. The application of rumour theory, including comparisons with the well-documented 1969 urban legend alleging the death of Paul McCartney, revealed that in challenging the authority of scientific experts with her own claims to mystic insight, Labouchere attempted to control events beyond her reach by psychosomatic means. This practice is called magic. (The Labouchere letters courtesy of the Peggy Joy Egyptology Library, Michigan.)
This presentation was the keynote lecture for the Tea with the Sphinx Conference held at the University of Birmingham in June 2018. It is the first academic study of the Labouchere letters.

October 3 (Wednesday)

The Coffin of Lady Asru


Presented by Becky Steven
Recording Secretary
The Ancient Egypt Society of Western Australia

What would father of Egyptology, Flinders Petrie, make of our obsession with CSI crime shows? Would he be intrigued to discover just how much of modern forensic methodologies have their origins in the systematic scientific analysis of the ancient Egyptian collections amassed in Manchester? Join us on a romp through snake infested pits, Boots pharmacy and a CAT machine or two.

Members please note the AESWA 2018 AGM will begin at 6:30pm before Becky’s lecture begins.

September 5 (Wednesday)



Presented by Dr. Bill Leadbetter
Cathedral Scholar, St. George’s Cathedral, Perth
Adjunct Associate Professor of History, University of Notre Dame, Fremantle

The Roman Emperor Diocletian and his colleagues visited Egypt three times (at least). Each time was to suppress a revolt. The consequences both of the revolts and their suppressions were wide-ranging. For a start, the Egyptian calendar changed. AD 284, the year of Diocletian's accession became, in Egypt, the year 1. Egyptian cultural institutions changed. The Temple at Luxor became a legionary fort; the sacred precinct at Philae was adorned with a triumphal arch, and from that time Roman emperors were represented according to the traditions and canons of Graeco-Roman, rather than Egyptian, art.

This lecture will use literary and archaeological evidence to explore this tumultuous period in Egyptian, and late antique, history and will explore the depth of religious and political feelings in Egypt in the early fourth century.

August 1 (Wednesday)

Was this ET a pyramid builder?


Presented by Russell Decke
AESWA Public Relations Director

For decades, some people have asserted that it would have been physically impossible for human beings living thousands of years ago to build the pyramids of Giza. A surprising number of people believe that beings from extra-terrestrial civilisations were responsible for building these great monuments. This notion has been reinforced by dubious claims made on television programs and websites.

Although Egyptologists have dismissed the idea that aliens built the pyramids, the belief that some sort of extra-terrestrial assistance was involved has endured. Why do these views persist in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary? Join Russell for an examination of one of Egyptology's most exasperating issues.

July 4 (Wednesday)

Scanning a mummy


Presented by Dr Alanah Buck
Forensic Anthropologist, PathWest
WA Museum Honorary Research Associate
Mr Peter Muir
CT Supervisor, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital

Egyptian artefacts and mummies have been examined by traditional methods for more than a hundred years. Unfortunately, many of the investigations carried out in the previous century were both invasive and destructive, particularly where mummies were concerned. The application of modern, 21st century technologies now make it possible to examine these precious objects without any destruction or disturbance of the remains inside.

This lecture will describe the use of new technologies, in particular CT scanning, for the examination and ultimate display of Egyptian mummies and artefacts that are currently being adopted throughout the world.

Peter is a Radiologist responsible for two of the busiest and most advanced CT scanners at SCGH. When not scanning more than a hundred patients a day, he focuses on developing CT scanning techniques which can reveal hidden information about Egyptian artefacts and mummies.

June 6 (Wednesday)

Three Pyramid Officials

“THE PYRAMIDS: There’s an app for that”

Presented by Dr Jasmine Day
The Ancient Egypt Society of Western Australia

Have you ever wished you could visit the pyramids of Giza without the heat, flies, crowds and hawkers? Or have you imagined wandering through the Old Kingdom tombs on the Giza plateau at your leisure, being able to translate the inscriptions instantly? It might sound like magic, but we can now enjoy all these things and more with the help of an app.

Dr Jasmine Day will take us on a virtual tour of the pyramids and tombs of the Giza plateau using ‘The Pyramids’ app. She will take us through the pyramids by ‘flying’ through the passages—no more tiresome stairs and cramped tunnels to negotiate. We’ll wander the corridors of the tombs and view scenes which still retain their colour after 4000 years. We’ll also be able to virtually ‘handle’ statues and artefacts as if they’re floating in front of us. Don’t miss this fascinating introduction to virtual Egyptology.

May 2(Wednesday)

Egyptian Coffin & Chinese Jade Suit


Presented by Russell Decke
Previous President A.E.S.W.A., JP

Both Egypt and China gave rise to ancient civilisations which profoundly influenced the course of history. Although there was no direct contact between ancient Egypt and ancient China, there are some striking similarities in these cultures in the development of writing, centralised government, funerary practices, art forms, medicine and a broad conservatism based on a reverence for harmony.

But there are also striking contrasts between these two great cradles of civilisation. These disparities illuminate cultural differences that allow us to better understand both societies and our own.

April 4 (Wednesday)

"Their Kitchens Ruled"

“THEIR KITCHENS RULED: Bread, Beer and a Bellyful of Cheer”

Presented by Dr Patricia L. O’Neill
Executive Secretary and Science Officer,
The Ancient Egypt Society of Western Australia
Author of The Hatshepsut Trilogy

From the mighty Pharaoh to the lowliest peasant, everyone in Ancient Egypt consumed bread and beer at every meal. Happiness was defined as having enough bread and beer to fill up the belly. The inventive Egyptians developed many varieties of beer and a vast array of baked goods to suit different occasions and levels of wealth. Baking and brewing developed side by side because they required similar ingredients and processing. The necessity of producing bread and beer every day dictated the design of the Ancient Egyptian kitchen. But despite abundant archaeological evidence, many entrenched ideas about Ancient Egyptian baking and brewing have been shown to be incorrect by recent research. In this presentation, we’ll find out the real story of how bread and beer were made and we’ll learn about the sophistication of Ancient Egyptian cuisine, from ‘Joy Bringer’ ale to jam tarts and doughnuts. We’ll also have a chance to sample bread which Trish has made with ingredients and methods which replicate those of the Ancient Egyptians as closely as possible.

March 7 (Wednesday)

"Younger Lady", Berlin Museum

“FACING THE MUMMY: physiognomy, facial reconstruction and the ‘delirious biographies’ of Egyptian mummies”

A paper originally presented at the 8th World Congress on Mummy Studies, Rio de Janeiro (2013)

Presented by Dr Jasmine Day
President, AESWA

Almost every study of an Egyptian mummy now culminates in the recreation of his or her living face. Yet how can this humanisation of the ancient Egyptians provide any specific insights into their lives and personalities, when examination of their bodies usually reveals only medical information? Is there a risk that reconstructed mummy faces only invite subjective speculations about the private lives of ancient Egyptians? Victorian and Edwardian Egyptology and popular culture interpreted facial features as indications of character and life experience – the now discredited “science” of physiognomy, tainted with assumptions about race, class and religion.

Such past misinterpretations only served to assert European values, but may continue today. As the current debate about the “whitewashing” of Nefertiti’s latest facial reconstruction shows, the faces of ancient Egyptians remain a battleground for modern issues.

Note: this lecture contains images of human remains.

February 7 (Wednesday)



Presented by Dean Kubank
Treasurer, AESWA

In 2017, Dean & Ann travelled on a small study tour in Egypt with Egyptologist and Tour Leader Dr Michael Birrell of B.C. Archaeology. The Tour covered the period of the Amarna Kings with a highlight being a visit to the city of Amarna to inspect the various ruins on the site. As well, we visited the Roman ruins at Karanis in the Fayyum, the Lahun pyramid, Middle Kingdom Tombs at Beni Hasan, the Temple of Thoth at Ashmunein, painted Ptolemaic tombs at Tuna el-Gebel, the wonderful Temple of Sety 1st and many other sites along the Nile on our sailing boat to Aswan. Of particular interest was a visit to the tomb of Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens which has only recently opened after further restoration.

Come along with us on a pictorial tour to see some of the magic of Ancient Egyptian History and hear the stories that go with it.

Previous Lectures 2017

December 6 (Wednesday)

Merry Xmas

Annual Christmas Party 2017

Free Admission
Raffles & Prizes
Friends, Family and Partners Welcome
Bring a plate of finger food - not just a packet of biscuits or crackers.

Big Raffle - 3 tickets for $5. And a lucky dip.

November 1 (Wednesday)

Berlin Museum


Presented by Lucia Gahlin
Egyptologist, UCL Institute of Archaeology

Queen Nefertiti, Great Royal Wife of the infamous heretic Pharaoh Akhenaten, is famed as the most beautiful woman in the ancient world. However, some artefacts excavated from the ruins of their capital, Amarna, depict the queen in bizarre or even grotesque ways. The iconography and ideology of Nefertiti were like that of no other ancient Egyptian queen. Exploring Amarna art, inscriptions, and the latest archaeological evidence, Lucia Gahlin will trace the development of Nefertiti’s image, and her political and cultic status, within the context of the significance of royal women in Akhenaten’s court and religion.

October 4 (Wednesday)

Lady Asru Manchester Museum


Presented by Becky Steven
AESWA Secretary

The temple singer, Lady Asru, expected to reach the heavenly Field of Reeds following a perilous journey after she died. Could she ever have guessed that after thousands of years, she would become a celebrity in an industrial city in northern England? Asru’s strange fate is just one of a series of unlikely events that led to the establishment of the Manchester Museum, which features one of Europe’s finest collections of Ancient Egyptian antiquities.

AESWA Recording Secretary, Becky Steven, will reveal the turbulent tale of the origin of the museum’s Ancient Egyptian Collection. It’s a story that features eccentric Egyptologists, colourful textile magnates, smugglers, rivalries, personality clashes and the occasional snake pit and shootout. Somehow, all this mayhem led to pioneering work in the scientific collection and display of Egyptian antiquities. Lady Asru would have been impressed!

September 6 (Wednesday)

Temple of Hibis


Presented by Dr Michael Birrell

The Western Desert of Egypt is largely featureless today with stone plateaus, sand sheets and fields of dunes. Occasionally there are some high cliffs, isolated hills and some depressions. The 5 main depressions encompass only a very small area but they are essential for human habitation as they give access to underlying aquifers. The depressions (also known as Oases) in the Western Desert have been inhabited for thousands of years, and preserve a rich archaeological heritage consisting of temples, tombs and settlements. Dr Michael Birrell worked for 2 seasons as an archaeologist in the Oasis of Dakhleh and will discuss the archaeology of the region.

August 2 (Wednesday)

Climate change


Presented by Mara Leisavnieks

The Old Kingdom was said to have collapsed because of civil war, foreign invasions and famine which led to the Intermediate Period of instability and division. Now some Egyptologists believe climate change was the likely catalyst and one of the culprits.
We’ll look at some of the research into this area. Looking at the natural environment and climate in Ancient Egypt and its effect on society could provide some interesting parallels for us today. Can we learn from history?

July 5 (Wednesday)

Coffin Face


Presented by AESWA President Dr Jasmine Day and
Friends of the WA Museum President, Dr Brian Davies

The ‘Museum on Wheels’ Egyptian Artefacts Show returns for more hands-on experience with real Egyptian artefacts that are thousands of years old. Join AESWA President, Dr Jasmine Day and special guest, Dr Brian Davies, as they display and discuss antiquities from their own personal collections. The collections include amulets, shabtis, scarabs, statuettes, jewellery and painted coffin fragments. New this year are a rare white coffin face, a bronze Osiris statuette and ‘Bert’ the shabti.

We’ll learn the story behind each artefact as it is displayed live on the big screen using a visualiser, which will reveal the object’s tiny details. We’ll also have a stereo microscope on hand for discovering features of the artefacts invisible to the naked eye. Some artefacts will be available for handling, and you’ll be able to take photos (flash included) if you wish.

Don’t miss this chance to play ‘Antiques Roadshow’ with the ultimate antiques!

June 14 (Wednesday)

Sphinx and Pyramid


Presented by Russell Decke
Past President of AESWA

The Fourth Dynasty of Ancient Egypt lasted around 120 years from 2613 to 2494 BC. It is characterized as a "Golden Age" of the Old Kingdom.

This Dynasty heralded the height of the pyramid-building age.The pharaohs of this dynasty include some of the best-known kings of Ancient Egypt known for constructing their magnificent stone monuments, perhaps the hallmark of Egypt.

Come along with Russell as he shares a wonderful insight to this amazing chapter from our ancient history.

May 6 (Saturday)

This is a members only event. Please note the change of date. Members are requested to read their email from AESWA for further details.

April 5(Wednesday)

Dr Strudwick


Presented by Dr Dr Nigel Strudwick
(text by Helen Strudwick)

From the golden mask of Tutankhamun to broken-up fragments of coffins found in excavations, the remains of ancient Egyptian coffins come in many shapes and forms. We know a great deal about the religious beliefs of the ancient Egyptians, which prompted them to preserve their bodies for eternity, but what do we know about the coffins they were buried in? Recent research into the collection of coffins at the University of Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam Museum has been carried out by a multidisciplinary team in the UK. It reveals a complex picture of the way the shapes and styles of decoration of coffins changed over time, and even the extensive re-use of material from older coffins.

March 1 (Wednesday)

Seated ladies


Presented by Dr Patricia L. O’Neill
Executive Secretary and Science Officer (AESWA)
Author of The Hatshepsut Trilogy

In the media, Ancient Egyptians are often shown living in spacious mansions, strolling past walls adorned with bright scenes of the afterlife, lounging on gilded furniture behind filmy silk curtains, or perhaps soaking in a sunken marble bathtub while Nubian slave girls anoint their limbs. If that vision is accurate, I’m going to ask Father Christmas for a time machine! In reality, everyone in Egypt, from the serfs to the sovereign, lived in sparsely furnished mud-brick dwellings. Although building materials and the climate imposed constraints on their lifestyle, the Ancient Egyptians invented ingenious ways to incorporate comfort and beauty into their homes.

In this talk, we’ll examine the realities of ancient Egyptian life. We’ll imagine what it was like to live in their homes, to dine sitting on the floor, to sleep in their beds and keep cool in summer. We’ll discover some features of ancient Egyptian life that are surprisingly similar to our own, such as ensuite bathrooms with leaky shower recesses. Other aspects of their lives will seem foreign to us, like coping with the annual Nile flood or never locking their doors.

Despite the challenges they faced, the Ancient Egyptians were, in the words of historian Lionel Casson, ‘the first to develop the art of gracious living, the first to relish the joys of a comfortable and well-appointed home and of the activities that could be carried out in it.’

February 1 (Wednesday)

Late Period Mummification Scene


Presented by Dr Jasmine Day

Anthropologist; AESWA President

Egyptian mummies have been studied for centuries, but only relatively recently have technological developments accelerated our accumulation of knowledge about the lives and deaths of the ancient Egyptians. Using photographs, historical illustrations and several fascinating short films, Jasmine Day will outline the evolution of scientific research on mummies, from unwrappings as Victorian ‘edutainment’ to the latest hi-tech CT scans that reveal valuable medical information. The important role of Australians in mummy research will also be discussed.

Previous Lectures 2016

December 7 (Wednesday)

Merry Xmas

Annual Christmas Party 2016

Free Admission
Raffles & Prizes
Friends, Family and Partners Welcome
Bring a plate of finger food - not just a packet of biscuits or crackers.

Big Raffle - 3 tickets for $5. And a lucky dip.

Remember, our party is at our NEW venue.

November 2 (Wednesday)

Dr Jana Jones


Presented by Dr. Jana Jones
Research Fellow, Department of Ancient History
Macquarie University, Sydney

Mummification was fundamental to the ancient Egyptians’ belief in eternal life. A well-preserved body resembling the once-living person was crucial for the deceased to pass into the afterlife. This presentation will explore the physical procedures, the ritual and symbolism involved in the process. Modern, minimally invasive scientific tools, including biochemical analysis of embalming substances, protein analysis, virtual autopsy and aDNA expand our understanding of how these individuals lived and died, as well as illuminating the ‘art’ of the ancient embalmers.

Dr. Jones has been participating in international excavations for the Australian, German, French and British Museum (Hierakonpolis) expeditions since 2000. While conducting microscopic analysis of ancient funerary textiles in the field, she discovered that contrary to currently held beliefs, resins and embalming agents were used in burials as early as the Late Neolithic period (c. 4300 BC). Her findings have rewritten the history of Egyptian mummification, pushing back its origins by some 1500 years.

Parts of this presentation will contain images of medical procedures and human remains.

October 5 (Wednesday)

Dr Hawass

Our October meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, October 5, happened to coincide with a lecture scheduled for Perth by Dr. Zahi Hawass, ‘Pyramids, Mummies and Cleopatra: Recent Discoveries.’

Our committee has decided to CANCEL OUR REGULAR OCTOBER MEETING so our members can attend this special event.

Dr Hawass has succeeded in drawing enormous public attention to Egyptology over many years. So let’s all be there at his lecture to show that Perth’s people are Australia’s greatest Egyptophiles! And wear your AESWA badges! Details of Dr. Hawass’ lecture and ticket information can be found here:

September 7 (Wednesday)



Presented by Dean Kubank
AESWA Treasurer

Almost every visitor to Egypt will bring home photos of the graceful collonades of Luxor Temple. The beautiful temple, called Ipet Resyt (the Southern Sanctuary) by the Ancient Egyptians, has a complex history spanning more than 3,000 years. In ancient times a broad processional avenue lined with sphinxes linked Luxor Temple to the Karnak Temple complex, approximately 2 kms to the north.

Luxor Temple was dedicated to a form of Amun-Ra and the principle of divine kingship. The temple was the focus of the Ancient Egyptians' most important holiday, the Opet Festival, which celebrated the king's rejuvenation via his union with Amun-Ra.

Many well preserved temple reliefs illustrate the festivities and processions of Opet; others give us valuable insight into the Egyptians' beliefs about the divine conception of their kings. In a series of outstanding original photos, Dean will take us on a journey through the temple and show us many of the features the average tourist never notices.

August 3 (Wednesday)

Teti pyramid cemetery, Saqqara


Presented by Dr Alanah Buck
Forensic Anthropologist, PathWest
Honorary Research Associate WA Museum

The general health of the ancient Egyptian populations from the Old Kingdom until the Greco-Roman Period has long been a topic of interest amongst scholars. From broken bones to decayed teeth, all manner of disease and injuries have provided valuable insights into the everyday life of the ancient Egyptians.

In this lecture, mummified and skeletonised human remains from Luxor (Thebes) and Saqqara, excavated by Macquarie University teams, will be described and compared with modern medical conditions. The patterns of diseases that are reflected in these human remains afford us a glimpse of the health differences between the wealthier members of society compared with the everyday Egyptian and also shed some light on the general lifestyles and diets experienced during this time.

July 6 (Wednesday)



Presented by Dr Trish O’Neill

AESWA Executive Secretary and Science Officer
Author of The Hatshepsut Trilogy

After mastering pyramid building, what can you do for an encore? What sort of monumental architecture could be so stupendously difficult, that success would be indisputable proof of divine favour? The Ancient Egyptians invented obelisks—huge monolithic spires of stone—to fulfil religious as well as political aims. Recent research in experimental archaeology has helped us to understand how obelisks were cut, transported and erected, leaving us in awe of the Egyptians’ technical prowess. Although the religious significance of these stone spires is still shrouded in mystery, the Egyptians left many clues about what obelisks meant to them and to their gods. Obelisks were potent symbols of numinous power; later civilisations went to great lengths to plunder Egyptian obelisks in order to appropriate their magic. In this presentation, we’ll explore everything from ancient engineering to religious mysteries in an attempt to understand why the Egyptians were so enamoured of this these iconic stone monuments.

June 1 (Wednesday)

Beaded Mummy Mask

presented by
Dr Jasmine Day
President, AESWA & Vice President, Friends of the WA Museum
Dr Brian Davies
President, Friends of the WA Museum

Jasmine Day and special guest, Dr Brian Davies, as they discuss Egyptian funerary treasures from their personal collections of antiquities, many not previously seen in public. They include amulets, jewellery, ushabtis, statuettes and fragments of painted wooden coffins. With live images beamed from a For the first time at an AESWA lecture, genuine ancient artefacts will be on show. Join Dr visualiser, every object will be visible in detail on the big screen. If you wish, you’ll be able to take photos (flash permitted) of the artefacts and some of the objects will be available for handling. We’ll also have a stereo microscope set-up so you can examine some of these artefacts at magnifications usually available only to museum curators. If you enjoy Antiques Roadshow, Collectors or Time Team you’ll love this Egyptian twist on the format. Don’t miss this special premiere event!

May 4 (Wednesday)

Ptolemy I Soter

"The Dynasty that Didn't Speak Egyptian:
Encountering the Ptolemies"

Presented by Dr Bill Leadbetter
Cathedral Scholar, St George's Cathedral
Perth Adjunct Associate Professor in History, University of Notre Dame, Fremantle

From the death of Alexander the Great to the Roman conquest, Egypt was ruled, yet again, by a foreign family, this time the Ptolemaic, or Lagid, dynasty. For the most part, the Ptolemies chose to live in Alexandria and ruled Egypt as something like a foreign possession. Indeed, the only ruling member of the family who ever spoke Egyptian was Cleopatra VII, the last of them to rule. The Ptolemaic kingdom inherited much of the structure and tradition of Pharaonic Egypt, together with its rich visual language. Over time, Greek and Egyptian traditions came together in creative ways, especially in religion. This lecture will explore the history of Ptolemaic Egypt following three themes in particular: foreign conquest; religious policy; and monumental building.

The basic thesis of the lecture is that Ptolemaic policies were almost identical to those of New Kingdom Egypt, not through any conscious imitation but because the world in which they lived was similar and, just as the power of the New Kingdom Empire was broken when the invasions of the Sea peoples shattered the balance of power between Near Eastern kingdoms, so too, the coming of Rome disrupted the Hellenistic settlement of the first century BC and led inexorably to the collapse of the Ptolemaic state and its absorption by Rome.

In the course of this lecture, we will meet a number of eccentric and colourful rulers such as Ptolemy XII Auletes ("Fluteplayer"), and Berenike II after whom the constellation of Coma Berenices is named. We will also encounter the rich intellectual culture of Alexandria, home of Hellenistic science, philosophy, poetry, medicine, and where the first novels were written.

April 6 (Wednesday)

Horus the Smiter

"Gods of Egypt:
What Hollywood Can't Tell You"

Presented by Dr Trish O’Neill

AESWA Executive Secretary and Science Officer
Author of The Hatshepsut Trilogy

‘Gods of Egypt’ (a Summit Entertainment/Lionsgate film) presents the battle between the Ancient Egyptian gods Horus and Seth. Humans get to mix it up with gods in this fantasy/adventure blockbuster that was filmed in Australia with a star-studded cast. Even with a heart-thumping soundtrack and advanced CGI effects, can Hollywood really do justice to the ancient tale of the epic struggle between the two gods?

The story of the conflict between Horus and Seth over the throne of Egypt is at least 5,000 years old. It features magic and fantasy, grisly violence, humour and trickery, a bewildering array of gods behaving badly, and sexual shenanigans so shocking scholars felt compelled to translate them into Latin.

Much of the material is too complex or confronting for Hollywood to tackle. But hidden within the tale lies the secret to the remarkable stability and resilience of Ancient Egyptian civilisation itself. We’ll examine the authentic story in its entirety, interpret it through Egyptian eyes and learn why they enshrined it as the cornerstone of their civilisation.

Please note that this presentation will deal with some material of an explicit sexual nature which is not suitable for persons under the age of 15 years.

March 2 (Wednesday)

Vizier Ptah-Hotep

"The Pyramids and Tombs of Abusir"

Presented by Colin Simcock

The pyramids and tombs built at Abusir were built during the end of the 5th Dynasty, a period when the Egyptian civilisation started to decline. The pyramids here were inferior in construction compared to their counterparts in the 4th Dynasty when the Great Pyramid was built. As such it is not a favoured site with tourists, but nevertheless it is a very important site in the history of Egypt with some important historical finds. In addition, the area has extensive fields of mastabas of the high officials for this period, including family members and courtiers.

February 3 (Wednesday)

Temple of Hatshepsut

"Djeser - Djeseru"

Presented by Dean Kubank
Treasurer, AESWA

One of the architectural masterpieces on the West bank of the Nile is the mortuary temple of Hatshepsut, pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty. Known today as Deir el-Bahri, it had previously been called Djeser-Djeseru – “holy of holies”, and Hatshepsut herself records on its walls that she built the temple “as a garden for my father Amun”. In its heyday, visitors would have entered into shaded garden areas with exotic plants, trees and pools and the limestone temple itself, three ascending terraces set back against the Theban cliff, would have gleamed softly in the light.

Join Dean as he discusses the temple’s excavation history and walks you through the edifice, looking at the reliefs and statues and the history behind these.

Previous Lectures 2015

December 2 (Wednesday)

Merry Xmas

Annual Christmas Party

Free Admission
Raffles & Prizes
Friends, Family and Partners Welcome
Bring a plate of finger food - not just a packet of biscuits or crackers.

November 2 (Wednesday)


"Humour in Ancient Egypt"

presented by Dr Trish O’Neill
AESWA Science Officer and author of The Hatshepsut Trilogy

The ancient Egyptians have an undeserved reputation as gloomy mystics obsessed with death. In reality, they were earthy, fun-loving folk with a keen sense of humour. They poked fun at their servants, their bosses and even their gods. They loved funny stories and wrote clever satire; they even invented the political cartoon. In the first part of this presentation, we’ll look at ancient Egyptian humour which has survived in many forms to make us laugh today. In the second part of the talk, we’ll examine ancient Egyptian erotic humour; please note that the material covered in this portion of the presentation is not suitable for persons under the age of 15 years.

October 7 (Wednesday)


Note: Please arrive early for the annual AGM, which starts at 6:30 PM

"Ancient Egyptian Mummification"

presented by Dr Dr Jasmine Day
Anthropologist; AESWA Committee Member

Mummies are one of the icons of ancient Egypt, yet only recently has modern science begun to unravel their deeper mysteries. How and why were mummies made? When and why did mummification begin and end? How was the brain really removed through the nose and how were the viscera removed? Earlier assumptions about the process of mummification have been overturned by several remarkable modern experiments and discoveries.

Join us for a scientific and cultural exploration of the history of Egyptian mummies in Jasmine Day’s most popular presentation. (Contains images of human remains)

October 4 (Sunday)

Amelia Edwards c. 1890

‘A Thousand Miles Up the Nile’
presented by Dr Michael Birrell.

For this one-day special event, Egyptologist Dr Michael Birrell takes us on a captivating journey to ancient sites along the Nile. He’ll retrace the 1873 voyage of Amelia Edwards, whose best-selling book A Thousand Mile Up the Nile inspired many an intrepid traveller in Victorian times. For more information and bookings, please contact Dean Kubank on 9459 0548 or Russell Decke on 0412 031 431.

September 2 (Wednesday)

Praying to the solar disc

"The Recent Journey of Malcolm Mason"

presented by Malcolm Mason

Please join us and Malcolm Mason as he takes us all on his most recent trip to Egypt. Many of the famous sites, including Minya, Beni Hasan, Amarna, Abydos, Luxor, Thebes, Valley of the Kings, Karnak, Edfu, Gebel Silsilah, Kom Ombo, Aswan, Philae will be discussed within the context of the Amarna story.

August 5 (Wednesday)

Stela of Ptolemy VIII from Thonis


presented by Russell Decke
President AESWA

The City of Thonis-Heracleion, (the Egyptian and Greek names of the city) home of the temple where Cleopatra was inaugurated, was one of the most important trade centres in the Mediterranean area before it disappeared into what is now the Bay of Aboukir.

A real-life Atlantis which sunk off the coast of Egypt nearly 1,200 years ago has now been brought back to the surface.

Prior to its discovery in 2000, no trace of Thonis-Heracleion had been found. Its name was almost razed from the memory of mankind, only preserved in ancient classic texts and rare inscriptions found on land by archaeologists.

July 1 (Wednesday)

Stela of Ptolemy VIII from Thonis

Due to tecnhical problems this lecture was not presented and will be presented on August 5


presented by Russell Decke
President AESWA

The City of Thonis-Heracleion, (the Egyptian and Greek names of the city) home of the temple where Cleopatra was inaugurated, was one of the most important trade centres in the Mediterranean area before it disappeared into what is now the Bay of Aboukir.

A real-life Atlantis which sunk off the coast of Egypt nearly 1,200 years ago has now been brought back to the surface.

Prior to its discovery in 2000, no trace of Thonis-Heracleion had been found. Its name was almost razed from the memory of mankind, only preserved in ancient classic texts and rare inscriptions found on land by archaeologists.

June 3 (Wednesday)

by Dr Jasmine Day
Anthropologist; AESWA Committee Member

In 2013, Dr Jasmine Day photographed the newly reinstalled Egyptian collection at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. During her visit, curator Liam McNamara requested to loan items from her Art Deco Egyptian Revival jewellery collection for the museum’s forthcoming Discovering Tutankhamun exhibition. In 2014 she returned to Oxford to attend the invitation only launch of the summer blockbuster show, a celebration of the artwork of Howard Carter and photography of Harry Burton in recording the treasures from the tomb of Tutankhamun. At the launch she met the Earl of Carnarvon, great grandson of Howard Carter’s sponsor, who gave her a complimentary ticket to explore his castle at Highclere, including the Tutankhamun display in the basement. Join us for an exclusive view of some incredible Egyptology displays and a spectacular exhibition launch!

May 6 (Wednesday)

Caroleena Elphinstone


presented by Caroleena Elphinstone
Visitor Service Assistant, The Ashmolean Museum

I would like to take you on a journey to Ancient Egypt from 3300BC to 100AD through the Ashmolean's Egyptian artefacts. These treasures include one of the largest Predyanstic collections donated chiefly by Flinders Petrie and also the donations from Professor Llewellyn Griffith, the first professor of Egyptology in Oxford, who gave us the largest Pharaonic monument outside Egypt. The Ashmolean, the oldest museum in the U.K., has one of its best Egyptian collections.

April 1 (Wednesday)

Scan of the Mummy of the priest Nesperennub


presented by Russell Decke, President AESWA

The mummy of the priest Nesperennub, discovered at Luxor in the 1890's, has recently been the subject of a ground-breaking experiment.
Non-invasive X-ray and Computerised Tomography (CT) scanning techniques has made it possible to look inside the mummy without disturbing the wrappings in any way.
This has provided a unique insight into the complex process of mummification and life in Ancient Egypt,and it has even been possible to reconstruct Nesperennub's likely appearance.
Come join us for this inside story!

March 4 (Wednesday)

Professor Bob Brier


Screening of a video course presented by Professor Bob Brier Ph.D.
Long Island University

Ancient Egyptian civilization is so grand that our minds sometimes have difficulty adjusting to it. Ancient Egyptian civilization lasted 3,000 years, longer than any other on the planet. When the young pharaoh Tutankhamen ruled Egypt, the pyramids of Giza had already been standing well over 1,000 years. When Cleopatra came to power, Tutankhamen had been in his tomb more than 1,000 years. This presentation features the following episodes:

What distinguishes mythology, religion, and philosophy from one another? What role did each play in the lives of the ancient Egyptians?

Magic was a central concern of the ancient Egyptians. What were its basic elements and practices?

February 4 (Wednesday)

Coffin of Hori, Dyn.20 - 21
1100 - 1050 BCE


Presented by

Dr Jasmine Day,
Anthropologist; AESWA Committee Member

The changing face of Egyptian society and funerary fashions can be traced through centuries of development in the design of coffins, sarcophagi and cartonnage mummy casings. Ever conscious of their own history, the Egyptians periodically revived coffin styles dating back to eras well beyond living memory. Like time machines, coffins were intended to magically and physically protect and carry their occupants through eternity – and have indeed transported them into our own time. See the finest examples of Egyptian coffins in museums around the world in this fascinating presentation.

Previous Lectures 2014

December 3 (Wednesday)

Merry Xmas

Annual Christmas Party

Free Entry
Please purchase a $5 raffle ticket at the door

From 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Please bring a substantial plate of savouries, salad or dessert to share with others. The $5 raffle ticket should be purchased on entry and will give you the chance to win glorious prizes fit for a pharaoh. Share this festive occasion, which marks the end of a very successful year. Bring friends, partners and children.

We welcome new members.

November 5 (Wednesday)

Liesel Gentelli

"The Excavation of a Graeco Roman House in Tell Timai"

Presented by

Liesel Gentelli
PhD Student at U.W.A.

This lecture will discuss the excavation and interpretation of a Graeco Roman house from Tell Timai, in the eastern Nile Delta. During the 2010, 2011, and 2013 excavation seasons, a Hellenistic building was excavated in the northwestern portion of Tell Timai. Evidence of the building initially was found following a 2010 magnetometer survey that was conducted of the area. The area was conducive to surveying because it was flat and void of above-ground features due to Sabbakheen activity during the early 20th century. This activity left for excavation only the lowest level of the building’s footprint. Yet, we were fortunate enough to find several pottery assemblages and a coin hoard in situ that enabled us to determine the building’s cultural identity (Hellenistic), dating (late third century to second century B.C.), and possible purposes of some of its rooms (domestic and possibly small commercial activity).
Note: Liesel is a PhD student at the University of Western Australia. Her research interests are focused on the conservation and analysis of metal artefacts, particularly coins. She is a staff member on the Tell Timai project in Egypt, run by the University of Hawaii under Robert Littman and Jay Silverstein, as both a field supervisor and head of metal and coin conservation.

October 1 (Wednesday)

The star goddess Sopdet

Notice is hereby given of the Annual General Meeting of the Ancient Egypt Society of WA (Inc.) to be held at the Institution of Engineers on Wednesday, 1st October 2014 at 6.30 pm.

"The Stars of Ancient Egypt"

Presented by

Dr Andy Simmonds
President, The Astronomical Society of WA; AESWA Member

Earlier this year, Dr Jasmine Day gave a talk on the cosmogony of the ancient Egyptians to the Astronomical Society of WA (ASWA). This is a reciprocal presentation about The Stars of Ancient Egypt. Stories about the stars were woven into the myths of ancient Egypt and were also of immense practical importance in providing a calendar for the seasons. This talk will discuss what the Ancient Egyptians thought lay in the heavens, the gods that were linked to the stars, and how and when their calendar was developed

September 3 (Wednesday)


Memorial Lecture

Russell Decke, President of the AESWA, will be reprising Anthony Holmes' lecture from 2008

"Akhenaten – Herectic, Hero or Hypocrite?

Originally Presented by Dr Anthony Holmes

Author of Tutankhamun: Speak My Name, Member of The Egypt Exploration Society and The Egyptian Society of South Africa

In the latter period of the New Kingdom a strange Pharaoh called Akhenaton abruptly declared the ancient gods to be obsolete! He declaredd the sun disc, the Aten to be the single omnipotent deity. After two millennia the temples of the ancient pantheon were closed and the divine statues destroyed. The economy of Egypt was brought to the brink of ruin. Was Akhenaton a Herectic or a Prophet? Was he heroic or insane? Join Anthony Holmes in an investigation into the motives for the extreme action of this fascinating Pharaoh.

August 6 (Wednesday)

Dr Janet Davey

"Forensic Egyptology"

Presented by

Dr Janet Davey, Forensic Egyptologist, Monash University

Modern medical and scientific technology has revolutionised the study of ancient Egyptian mummified bodies by providing non-invasive, non-destructive methods of investigation. This presentation will introduce a study of child mummies from Graeco/Roman Egypt who have been examined using CT scans to look for injuries, cause of death, mummification techniques and how the bodies have survived for thousands of years.
Dr Janet Davey is a Research Associate in the Department of Forensic Medicine, Monash University. Dr Davey completed a Certificate in Egyptology and a Master of Science in Biomedical and Forensic Studies in Egyptology at the University of Manchester(UK) before returning to Australia to complete a PhD in Forensic Egyptology. Dr Davey lived and worked in Egypt in 2006 when she assisted with the database of the Egyptian Museum, Cairo and has travelled extensively for her research and to present lectures on all aspects of ancient Egypt including mummification practices.
Dr Davey will be presenting a workshop on Saturday, August 9, 2014. See main page for further details.

July 2 (Wednesday)

Visualisation Research

"Volume Visualisation of Egyptian Mummies"
"3D Reconstruction of Heritage Objects from Photographs"

Presented by

Paul Bourke
Associate Professor, Visualisation Research
Director & Head of Visualisation Team, iVEC Facility, UWA

Professor Bourke will present on aspects of the visualisation project that culminated in the Pausiris mummy exhibition at the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart. This will include a description of the underlying visualisation techniques, namely the volume rendering of the CT scans which were some of the highest resolution scans at the time. Professor Bourke will also discuss the background to the project, the visualisation of other Egyptian items in the collection and a behind the scenes insight into the museumology.

In the second part of his presentation, Professor Bourke will present the relatively new capability of creating 3D digital assets of heritage objects simply by taking a number of photographs of the object. This is an exciting and powerful new capability for the capture and digital storage/representation of heritage objects. Numerous examples will be presented from a range of application areas along with an examination of the current state of the art.

June 4 (Wednesday)

General Gordon

"Gordon of Khartoum"

Presented by

Malcolm Mason

For much of the last 5,000 years the upper reaches of the Nile Valley have been a mysterious unknown land renowned for its trade in gold, ivory, slaves, exotic animals and soldiers. Several times this land “The Soudan” did appear on the world stage. From about 1,600BC for over 500years the Egyptian Pharaohs’ “New Kingdom” reached into The Soudan as far south as the 4th cataract; thereby ensuring strategic access to resources vital to their robust empire. More recently around 700BC the rulers of The Soudan marched in the opposite direction northwards down the Nile to the Mediterranean shores becoming masters of all Egypt for some 120years. They founded the XXV dynasty and became the first Pharaohs to rule Upper & Lower Egypt as far south as Khartoum.

Not until mid-1800 did the Nile Valley from Khartoum to the sea once again fall under the sway of one rule. Mohammed Ali, Pasha and the Ottoman Turkish ruler of Egypt invaded The Soudan seeking soldiers for his army and gold and other resources to fund modernisation of Egypt. The Ottoman-Turkish rulers needed and sought the very best available expertise. Charles Gordon was one, hired to administer the difficult provinces of The Soudan. His generally effective endeavours however suffered significantly due to his strenuous efforts to abolish the slave trade. Back for a second time and with much of The Sudan now suffering from a major insurrection headed by the “Mahdi” he disregarded British government directives to remove all Egyptians, European and their belongings to the north. He stayed. Though surrounded by Mahdi warriors equipped with modern weapons captured from annihilated Egyptian armies, Gordon mounted an effective defence of Khartoum for 16 months. In the meantime intense British public pressure resulted in a hasty, poorly equipped British/Egyptian military rescue mission. The advance guard, an armed reconnaissance paddle steamer reached Khartoum on 29 Jan 1885; just three days after it had fallen with many of the inhabitants including Gordon slaughtered. The Soudan was left to the Mahdi.

Gordon became a hero, remembered to this day. The British public ensured that the government of Egypt and Britain redress the situation and military efforts built up over more than a decade before in 1898, the Sirdar, Lord Kitchener won the battle of Omdurman.

Once again Upper and Lower Egypt were under the same banner; this time jointly Egyptian/British. But so often as in past history the boundary between Egypt and The Soudan changed yet again. This time peacefully when at independence in 1956 the border reverted to the 2nd cataract; the position where it resided so many times before

May 7 (Wednesday)

Wall Painting

"The Pyramids by Touch Press – an app for iPad"

Presented by

Dr Jasmine Day
Anthropologist; AESWA Committee Member

Explore the pyramids and major tombs of the Giza Plateau with an impressive interactive iPad app from Touch Press. Fly over, enter and move around inside realistic recreations of Old Kingdom monuments, compare the current and original appearances of their wall paintings and instantly translate their inscriptions, accompanied by expert commentary.

Another section presents Egyptian artefacts in 3D, which can be rotated. The incredible visuals in this app have been produced from ultra-high-resolution digital imagery captured on location in Egypt by Sandro Vannini, the world's greatest photographer of archeological sites and antiquities.

An interactive book is included, written by Zahi Hawass and other experts. This exquisite app brings the treasures of the past alive in your hands.

Find out more about this app at:

April 2 (Wednesday)

Sean Winter at Timai

"Change, Adaptation and Destruction at Tell Timai:
Results from the 2011-2012 Field Seasons"

Presented by

Sean Winter

This lecture will discuss ongoing archaeological field-work conducted by a multi-national team led by researchers from the University of Hawaii, at Timai, a Tell site that represents the remains of the Greco-Roman city of Thmouis.Fieldwork has been ongoing at Timai since 2007. Initial field efforts concentrated on survey and understanding the layout of the town. However, the site is suffering severe encroachment from modern development and since 2010 excavations have concentrated on salvaging areas slated for demolition.

The 2011 field season concentrated on an industrial area of the ancient city and uncovered evidence of a major destruction event in the first century BCE. In contrast the 2012 season concentrated on a more affluent area of the ancient town and excavated houses dating to the third century CE. This lecture will discuss results from both seasons of excavation and show how archaeology is providing evidence of change and adaptation in the ancient city.

March 5 (Wednesday)

Bill Leadbetter

"The Foundations of New Kingdom Egypt"

Presented by

Bill Leadbetter

The Ancient Egyptian State sought to impose order upon disorder.This was articulated by the Egyptians as a heavenly struggle betweeen ma'at (order, truth, right relationships) and isfet (disorder, injustice,wickedness). The Middle Kingdom had been brought to its end by both an internal collapse in political authority and the invasion of people whom we have come to call "the Hyksos". As a result, the unitary kingdom split into the three fragments of Upper Egypt, Middle Egypt, ruled from Thebes, and Lower Egypt, ruled from Avaris.

In reuniting Egypt, the Pharaohs of the seventeenth and eighteenth dynasties developed a standing army and a strong religious narrative to support their work. We are unusually well served by narrative sources in piecing together this period of Egyptian history. This talk will be in two parts, examining firstly the warfare by which Egypt was reunified, and then the the institutions that kept it together.

February 5 (Wednesday)

From the National Museum, Brazil

"A Virtual Tour of the National Museum of Brazil"

Presented by

Dr Jasmine Day
Anthropologist, AESWA Committee Member

The Museu Nacional in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was originally a royal palace but now houses one of the most important Egyptian collections in the Americas. It features a wide variety of artefacts and several significant coffins and human mummies. In 2013, Dr Jasmine Day visited the museum while participating in the 8th International Congress on Mummy Studies. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to discover one of the most remote Egyptological collections in the world and to take in highlights from the Mummy Congress and the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro!

Previous Lectures 2013

December 4 (Wednesday)

Merry Xmas

Annual Christmas Party

Free Entry
Please purchase a $5 raffle ticket at the door

From 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Please bring a substantial plate of savouries, salad or dessert to share with others. The $5 raffle ticket should be purchased on entry and will give you the chance to win glorious prizes fit for a pharaoh. Share this festive occasion, which marks the end of a very successful 17th year. Bring friends, partners and children.

We welcome new members.

November 6 (Wednesday)

Temple of Philae

Notice is hereby given of the fifteenth Annual General Meeting of the Ancient Egypt Society of WA (Inc.) to be held at the Institution of Engineers on Wednesday 6th November 2013 at 6.30 pm.

"The Island Temple of Philae"

Presented by

Dean Kubank
Treasurer of AESWA

Come with Dean to Aswan and learn about the History of the Temple and stroll through its courtyards.

October 2 (Wednesday)

Roman coins in Egypt

"Coins: Newspapers Conveying the Emperor’s Message to the People of Roman Egypt”

Presented by
Dr Brian Davies

The Roman Empire is more than historical, it was one of the most significant civilisations in history; one that arguably still influences the present. Roman Egyptian coins provide an insight into the fortunes of Roman Egypt, in particular Alexandria’s significance to Rome.

A slab of metal, often minted by slaves, handled by people of all walks of life, and turned out by the millions in one of history's first major production lines. The methods of working metals, copper, silver, and gold were well known to the Romans. A succession of Roman emperors capitalised upon, and harnessed the power of coins to distribute propaganda and political messages because they were so easy to mass produce and distribute.

The ‘books’ of that day were rolled papyrus scrolls, fragile, expensive, cumbersome, and required the reader to be literate. Coins, however, were small and transportable. The image and message lasting often hundreds of years, during which they were passed on to a myriad of people, from wealthy corn merchants operating out of Alexandria, government officials and soldiers stationed in Egypt, to the poor.

A display of coins will be available to view. I invite people to bring along any ancient coins they may own. On the head side was the portrait of the emperor of Egypt. On the reverse, the emperor might broadcast to the Egyptians how he protected his citizens by winning a great battle or that he was just, wise, or generous. Come on a journey, back 2000 years, to examine what the portraits and messages portray of the fortunes of Egypt under Roman rule.

Background of Dr Brian Davies:
  • Passionate numismatist, primarily Roman Imperial period.
  • Principal of an Aboriginal state school; Moorditj Noongar Community College in Middle Swan.
  • Background in Education, history, and theology PhD, with an MA in Archaeology from Leicester University (UK).
  • President of the Friends of the WA Museum, the social and fundraising arm of the museum.

September 4 (Wednesday)

Edfu - temple

"Uncovering Edfu"

Presented by
Mara Leisavnieks

Edfu is considered the traditional location of the mythological battle between Horus and Seth, and is famous for its sandstone Ptolemaic temple. But long before this temple was built, there was a thriving urban city in this 2nd Nome of Upper Egypt. Residential communities of Ancient Egypt have largely been destroyed over the years by farming and settlement so the excavations at Tel Edfu are a very important insight into ancient city life. This is one of only a few examples where almost 3000 years of history is layered on the one site.

Learn about what is hiding under the mounds next to the temple complex.

August 7 (Wednesday)

The Step Pyramid, Saqqara


Presented by Russell Decke
President AESWA

Saqqara is one section of the great necropolis of Memphis, the Old Kingdom capital dating from the Early Dynastic Period (about 3100-2613 BCE). The kings of the First Dynasty as well as that of the Second Dynasty are mostly buried in this section of the Memphis necropolis. There are fifteen royal pyramids at Saqqara and has been of constant interest to Egyptologists.

Saqqara is best known for the Step Pyramid, the oldest known of Egypt's 97 pyramids. It was built for King Djoser of the Third Dynasty by the architect and genius Imhotep, who designed it and its surrounding complex to be as grand as it was unique and revolutionary.

The Step Pyramid is the earliest known stone structure in the world

Saqqara is part of the huge cemetary associated with the city of Memphis and covers an area of approximately 6 kms long and 1.5 kms wide. The earliest King whose name has been found at the site is Narmer - the first King of the First Dynasty - often equated with Menes and credited with as the founder of Memphis.

July 3 (Wednesday)

Black Pharaohs

"The Black Pharaohs”

Presented by Malcolm G Mason

In this talk Malcolm G Mason will talk about the fulfillment of a dream, his visit to Sudan - the land of the Black Pharaohs. In February, 2012 Malcolm went on a 17 day tour with Austalia's travelling archaeologist, Dr Michael Birrel. Michael had already presented a series of lectures two years ago at the Ancient Egyptian Society and it was this event that fired Malcolm's imagination.

Malcolm's talk will be mainly about his 17 day journey. He will present things from a very personal, sensitive perspective. For those of you who wish to have a "pre-taste" of what Malcolm will speak about, see his description by clicking here.

June 5 (Wednesday)

A Royal Chariot Horse

"WAR HORSE: Horses and the Egyptian Empire”

Presented by Dr. Patricia L. O’Neill
AESWA Committee Member and
Author of The Hatshepsut Trilogy

Horses were not native to Egypt. The ancient Egyptians were introduced to horses and chariots in the most demoralising way possible—by being conquered by the Hyksos peoples of Canaan. But the Egyptians soon turned the tables on their oppressors. The Egyptian mastery of horsemanship and chariot warfare was so formidable that they became the world’s first superpower. Their horses, tack, vehicles, weapons and battle tactics combined to form a revolutionary military machine.

Modern attempts to recreate and drive Egyptian-style chariots have demonstrated that horsemanship was the most important factor in military success. But the ancient Egyptians also forged a unique relationship with their equine friends, and their admiration for their beloved horses was immortalised on the walls of their temples and tombs.

May 1 (Wednesday)

Tom Gilbert

"Archaeogenomics - how can DNA be used to look at the past?"

Presented by Tom Gilbert
Professor of Palaeogenomics (University of Copenhagen) and
Adjunct Professor (Murdoch University)

The generation and analysis of DNA sequences is an extremely powerful tool with which to not only understand the present, but the past. In this way, one can both analyse well chosen modern samples to make inferences about what happened in antiquity, but also in the right circumstances, directly study the DNA within ancient samples themselves. In recent years the technological means to do such studies have significantly developed, and thus while once we were limited to using fragmentary sources of information, today we can routinely recover complete genomes of even very poorly preserved specimens. In this talk Tom will present examples of how both modern and ancient DNA can be used in this way, drawing on examples from biology, archaeology and anthropology. Unfortunately to date little work in this regard has been done in the context of Ancient Egypt, and thus he will further explain why such a fascinating topic has lagged behind in such studies. To conclude he will present what he believes the future of genetic approaches to Egypt may hold.

Tom Gilbert is the Professor of Palaeogenomics - the discipline of using genomic level data from old and otherwise degraded materials - at the University of Copenhagen, and Adjunct Professor at Murdoch University. Originally an evolutionary biologist who became trapped by the fascination of molecular biology, his research focusses on the exploitation of both fragmentary and genomic scale datasets in order to study questions of broad scale evololutionary biological, archaeological and anthropological interests.

April 3 (Wednesday)


"Women Pharaohs"

Presented by Russell Decke, JP CMC, Pres. AESWA

Apart from Nitocris, Hatshepsut and Cleopatra, the record is too murky to produce a definitive list of women who reigned as pharaoh. There are some who probably ruled, but might not have, and there are some who probably did not, but might have.

We will explore the names of the possible women pharaohs along with the evidence that supports the claim that they did indeed rule Egypt.

March 6 (Wednesday)

Sphinx on Time Piece

"Egyptomania at Home"

Dr Jasmine Day, Cultural anthropologist

Take an exclusive tour inside the homes of some of the world’s foremost Egyptomania collectors. Sphinx Hill in England is a modern Egyptian mansion filled with sphinx themed antiques. Gavin Watson’s massive collection of rare books, priceless Wedgwood and Royal Doulton porcelain, clocks, lamps and statues is tucked away inside a terrace house in Stirling, Scotland. Bob Brier and his wife Pat Remler live in a flat in the Bronx, surrounded by Egyptian treasures from historic posters and antiques to ushabtis and even a mummy’s arm! PLUS: see the fabulous World Sand Sculpture Festival held in Brighton in 2005, featuring an Egyptian mythology theme.

February 6 (Wednesday)

Highclere Castle

"Tutankhamun at Highclere"

Presented by Becky Steven, AESWA secretary

The discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb by Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon in the Valley of the Kings was one of the first major global media events, and captured the imagination of millions. Lord Carnarvon divided his time between Egypt and his family estate at Highclere Castle, now also home to the TV series ‘Downton Abbey’. However, there is far more to Highclere than ‘Downton Abbey’ and delectable high teas.

Indeed, in a secret cache of ancient Egyptian artefacts lay forgotten at Highclere until rediscovered some 65 years after the Tutankhamun discovery in Egypt. It is now part of a unique exhibition at the Castle. What can one expect from a visit to Lord Carnarvon’s castle today? Join us as Becky guides us through the Castle in the light of her recent visit to its stunning Egyptian antiquities exhibition.

Previous Lectures 2012

December 5 (Wednesday)

Merry Xmas

Annual Christmas Party

Free Entry
From 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Please bring a plate of savouries, salad or dessert to share. The raffle gives you multiple chances to win fabulous raffle prizes. Share this festive occasion, which marks the end of a very successful 16th year. Bring friends, partners and children.

We welcome new members.

November 7 (Wednesday)

Wine preparation

"King Tut’s Wine Cellar"

Presented by Becky Steven

Howard Carter’s discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun revealed much about life in ancient Egypt, including its sophisticated wine industry. What can archaeo-chemists discover about the contents of the ancient vessels found in the tomb? How were these wines produced? How did the industry develop over millennia? Discover the wines of the ancient Egyptians.

October 3 (Wednesday)

‘The Night of Counting the Years’

Notice is hereby given of the fourteenth Annual General Meeting of the Ancient Egypt Society of WA (Inc.) to be held at the Institution of Engineers on Wednesday 3rd October 2012 at 6.30 pm.

"Depicting Ancient Egyptian Tomb Robbers"

Presented by Dr Jasmine Day

In 1881 artefacts from an Ancient Egyptian tomb began to surface on the black market. Who was responsible for robbing the tomb ? Whose tomb did they come from ? Best of all, against this backdrop of skulduggery and infighting was betrayal: a police informant !!

Dr Jasmine Day outlines this true story, which was depicted in the intriguing old classic 1969 Egyptian filmDr Jasmine Day, said to be one of the most important Egyptian films ever made. It is known for its unusual camera angles, slow pace, and eerie music, all giving it a unique atmosphere and quality. Jasmine also provides insights into the imagery and significance of this early film.

September 5 (Wednesday)

A night to remember

"A Night at the Museum"

Presented by Dan White
Member of the AESWA
With images from Anne Cook

Fresh from his recent visit to Brisbane, Dan talks us through the stunning exhibition, Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb at the Queensland Museum in Brisbane.

This exhibition from the British Museum has more than 100 items on display, and tells the story of an Ancient Egyptian priest. Join us for a fascinating glimpse into the ancient world, with Dan’s impressions from viewing the unique exhibits and 3D film.

August 1 (Wednesday)

"Abu Simbel"

"Abu Simbel"

Presented by Dean Kubank
Treasurer of the AESWA

Join Dean as he walks you through the temples of Abu Simbel. Learn about their construction, the significance of the artwork, it’s rediscovery in the early 1800s and a little of the enduring love story between Ramses and his Great Royal Wife Nefertari.

July 4(Wednesday)

"Lord of Two Lands"

"Better Travel Photography"

Presented by Mara Leisavnieks AESWA Member and Australian Photographic Society (APS) Member

Do the words "no flash photography" make you groan. Have you wondered how to capture those flashless photos indoors without blurring? Do you want to take better photos on your trip to Egypt or anywhere else? Does talk about megapixels, ISO, which camera is best leave your head in a spin? Bring your camera (film or digital) and your camera manual with you for a lecture with a difference. Mara will explain the technical "jargon" in simple terms, help you to understand how to take those indoor photos without flash, better photos outdoors, what to look for when taking photos. She will also touch on how to save your photographic memories and help you decide what camera suits you if you're in the market for a new one. There will be a practical session for you as well to practice your new found knowledge.

June 6 (Wednesday)

The Pharaoh Akhenaten


Presented by Colin Simcock
(former president of AESWA, and a founding member)

Was Akhenaten a visionary, a heretic or a megalomaniac? These are some of the words used to describe this unusual Pharaoh. He was certainly different. At the height of the Ancient Egyptian empire Akhenaten came to the throne and instead of carrying on the work of the previous successful pharaohs, he turned the country upside down. A new religion, a new city and new art were just a few of the changes he made during his dynamic, short period. When he died it all ended as if a sand storm had swept the land and he and his religion disappeared.

Colin will investigate this colourful Pharaoh and try to fathom why Akhenaten felt that he needed to make so many changes and the effect it had on the common Egyptian.

May 2 (Wednesday)

An early pet in Ancient Egypt

"Ancient Egyptians and their Pets"

Presented by Dr Patricia L. O'Neill
AESWA Committee Member and author of
The Hatshepsut Trilogy

Egyptians were the ancient world’s greatest animal lovers. They kept cats, dogs, monkeys, geese and a wide assortment of unlikely critters as pets. In this fun and lively talk by AESWA Committee Member and Hatshepsut Trilogy author, Dr. Patricia L. O’Neill, you’ll hear how ancient Egyptians cared for their pets, named them, loved them in life and mourned them in death. We’ll get to know some famous pet owners and take a look at the role animals played in symbolism and religion. And we’ll find out whether cats really were worshipped as gods in ancient Egypt.

April 4 (Wednesday)


"Egyptian Mummies: Ancient Ingenuity and Modern Controversy"

Presented by Dr Jasmine Day
Education Officer, John Curtin Prime Misiterial Liberary (Curtin University)

In the first part of this lecture, we will investigate the origins, evolution and methods of mummification and find out why the Egyptians developed this extraordinary practice. This spectacular presentation includes amazing original photos taken in museums around the world.

In the second part of the lecture we will examine how Egyptian mummies have recently become embroiled in ethical debates about the exhibition of human remains in museums. Who should have the power to decide whether and why mummies are displayed? Are objections to mummy displays legitimate, or based upon misinformation spread by the media? Is there an acceptable way to display mummies? We will discover that controversy about mummy exhibits and other displays of human remains has a long and dubious history!

March 7 (Wednesday)

Death Mask of Tutankamen

"King Tut's Family Secrets"

Presented by Russell Decke, JP CMC, Pres. AESWA

Enjoy an enchanting journey back in time as we explore the fascinating and wonderous world of the boy pharaoh: Tutankhamen.

February 1 (Wednesday)

Scarab pectoral

"Understanding Egyptian Art"

Presented by Dr Jasmine Day
Education Officer, John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library (Curtin University)

Using images of objects from Egyptian Antiquities from the Louvre: Journey to the Afterlife exhibited at the Art Gallery of Western Australia in 2007, this lecture explains the key ideas behind Egyptian art, from magic and mythology to humour. Learn to interpret the coded images in sculpture, jewellery, offering stelae, mummy cartonnages and the Book of the Dead. Be among the few people in Perth to see this exclusive lecture adapted from material prepared specially for the Art Gallery’s own staff.

January 22 (Sunday)

The Pyramids at Giza

"The Pyramids":
Two Lecture Series

Presented by Dr Michael Birrell

Macquarie University (Sydney)

Special Visit

  1.    The The Early Development of the Pyramids
  2.    The Later Pyramids

WHEN:     Sunday January 22, 2012   1:30 PM to 4:00 PM
WHERE:  Subiaco Primary School Hall, Bagot Road in Subiaco
COST:       $15 (This cost includes afternoon tea)

Note: Combined cost for lectures on both January 21 (incl. lunch) and January 22 (incl. afternoon tea) is $45 and may be purchased at the door on January 21

January 21 (Saturday)

Yul Brynner as Ramesses II

"Ramesses the Great":
Five Lecture Series

Presented by Dr Michael Birrell

Macquarie University (Sydney)

Special Visit

Ramesses II was one of the most significant rulers of Egypt's New Kingdom. Renown for his conflict at Qadesh against the Hittite Empire, he was one of the greatest builders of the ancient world. But his long reign seems to have resulted in decline in the aftermath of his death. This lecture series today examines whether he should really be called 'Ramesses the Great'.
  1.    The Origins of Ramesses
  2.    Ramesses the Warrior
  3.    Ramesses the Builder
  4.    Ramesses the Family Man
  5.    The Death and Burial of Ramesses

WHEN:     Saturday January 21, 2012   10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
WHERE:  Subiaco Primary School Hall, Bagot Road in Subiaco
COST:       $35 (This cost includes lunch)

Note: Combined cost for lectures on both January 21 (incl. lunch) and January 22 (incl. afternoon tea) is $45 and may be purchased at the door on January 21

Previous Lectures 2011

December 5 (Wednesday)

Merry Xmas

Annual Christmas Party

Free Entry
Starts at 6:30 PM

Please bring a plate of savouries, salad or dessert to share. The raffle gives you multiple chances to win fabulous raffle prizes. Share this festive occasion, which marks the end of a very successful 15th year. Bring friends, partners and children.

November 2 (Wednesday)

“Hatshepsut’s Men”
plus signing of Trish’s new novel
The Eye of Re

Presented by
Dr. Patricia L. O’Neill
AESWA Committee Member and author of
The Hatshepsut Trilogy

The female Pharaoh Hatshepsut was one of Ancient Egypt’s greatest rulers, but she could never have succeeded without the help of a devoted group of loyal, talented men. Who were the men who served this remarkable woman, and what kinds of relationships did she develop with them? Come and hear about the heroes and villains who accompany Hatshepsut on her adventures in The Hatshepsut Trilogy. You’ll find how the characters were brought to life using the ancient evidence along with a bit of psychological detective work, and how that led to cracking the mystery of Hatshepsut’s persecution by Tuthmosis III.

After the lecture, copies of The Eye of Re, the gripping conclusion to The Hatshepsut Trilogy, will be available for purchase. Trish will inscribe each book bought on the night with a special hieroglyphic spell from Hatshepsut’s temple.

October 5 (Wednesday)

Nefertari playing Senet

A.G.M commences at 6:30 PM. It is important that financial members attend this meeting.

Ancient Egyptian Boardgames, and Play-off Tournament

Presented by Becky Steven and Dr Jasmine Day

Bring your senet and Mehen board games along to challenge each other. Don't worry if you don't have your own set: Game boards provided and for sale on the night.

September 7 (Wednesday)

Cleopatra's Needle

"The Odyssey of Cleopatra’s Needle: a walk down Memory Lane"

Presented by Becky Steven (Secretary, AESWA) for Beauchamp Paine

This year we celebrate our fifteenth anniversary, and this fascinating lecture was originally delivered by our beloved Beauchamp Paine, life member and former Vice President of AESWA. Beau traces the perilous journey of this famous obelisk from its original site to its final resting place, with his original illustrations and artworks along the way. Beau’s talent as a champion woodcarver brings us interesting insights into the building techniques used in creating this stunning monument.

August 3 (Wednesday)

Ramses II

"Ramses II"

Presented by Russell Decke, JP CMC
President Ancient Egypt Society W.A.

Rameses ll, also known as Ramesses the Great, was the third Egyptian pharaoh of the 19th Dynasty. He was Egypt’s most illustrious Pharaoh in the period of history known as the New Kingdom. The splendour of his achievements and the length of his reign also ensure his place among the ranks of the greatest monarchs of the entire civilization of Egypt, a span of nearly three thousand years.

Evidence of his piety, his love of his people and his land - and accounts of his courage and military prowess - are inscribed on monuments throughout Egypt and it’s surrounding territories. His buildings, halls, statues and temples still rise from the sand in an impressive testimony to his omnipotence.

It is not surprising, therefore, that the Egyptologists of the nineteenth century bestowed upon him the title of - Rameses the Great.

July 6 (Wednesday)


"Tutankhamun's DNA"

Presented by Dr Michael Birrell

Macquarie University (Sydney)
Special 15th Anniversary Guest Lecturer

The discovery of Tutankhamun’s intact tomb in the Valley of the Kings by Howard Carter sparked global fascination with the life, death and heritage of this enigmatic boy King. Modern archaeologists team up with sophisticated technology to discover fascinating insights into the young Pharaoh’s past,

July 2 (Saturday)

"The Black Pharaohs:
Egypt's 25th Dynasty"

Presented by Dr Michael Birrell

Macquarie University (Sydney)

Special 15th Anniversary Lecture

WHEN:     1:30 pm, Saturday 2nd July 2011
WHERE:   Subiaco Primary School Hall, 271 Bagot Road Subiaco
COST:       $10

The end of the New Kingdom around 1100 BCE saw the northern part of the Sudan revert to local control. A native kingdom developed around the sacred site of Jebel Barkal where the local rulers expanded a temple to Amun. Eventually, in the 8th Century BCE, the Black pharaohs of the 25th Dynasty expanded their control and took Egypt for themselves.

June 1 (Wednesday)

Judgement of Ani

"Resurrection in Ancient Egypt"

Presented by Jason Braunstein

AESWA Committee Member and Web Scribe

Ancient Egypt had a rich spirituality that permeated every facet of their lives. Judgement and resurrection were important beliefs that developed from Egypt's earliest history and culminated in the New Kingdom with the worship of Osiris. The story of Osiris gave hope to the Ancient Egyptians, a possibility of a life of joy in the hereafter. In this talk and slide presentation Jason will touch on a variety of subjects, culminating with the ceremonies honouring Osiris at Abydos.

May 2 (Wednesday)


"Temples of Nubia"

Presented by Dean Kubank

Treasurer of AESWA Inc.

Dean will talk about the Nubian temples rescued from a watery grave by the creation of Lake Nasser and the Aswan High Dam by the Egyptians and the Russians in the 1960s. These include: the Temple of Kalabsha, Wadi-el-Seboua (pictured), the Kiosk of Qertassi, Temple of Beit ei-Wali, and the Temple of Gerf Hussein. The talk will give a brief history of the decision to build the High Dam and take you on the Lake Nasser cruise stopping at each site until you reach Abu Simbel.

April 6 (Wednesday)

Artifacts Under Threat

"Egyptian Antiquities in Peril"

Presented by Amany Hanna

Egyptologist & AESWA Inc. founding President

The Egyptian Revolution of 2011 aimed to instigate massive changes in Egypt’s government, but an unintended effect of this period of chaos has been looting and vandalism of antiquities sites on a scale unparalleled since the nineteenth century. A breach of the Cairo Museum, in which a number of artifacts – including some of the treasures of Tutankhamun – were damaged and stolen was just the first and most notorious of a series of attacks upon ancient sites and museums that continues to this day. Amany Hanna, our founding President, will review the damage, identify missing objects, discuss the causes of present day looting and consider what can be done to stop the destruction of Egypt’s priceless world heritage. She will also reflect upon the heroic actions of ordinary Egyptians who rallied to protect the Cairo Museum and drive looters away from ancient sites.

March 2 (Wednesday)

The Celebrated Lotus

"The Lotus in Ancient Egypt"

Presented by Judith Andrews

The lotus flower has been held sacred in many cultures, with different powers and meanings attributed by different societies to each of the various species of this beautiful blossom. Believed by the Egyptians to have been the first flower at the beginning of the world, the Blue Lotus played a vital role in creation mythology. Its associations with life-giving forces brought about its use in religious ceremonies, but recent research suggests that in combination with wine, the lotus also possessed mild aphrodisiac properties. Were the banqueting ladies who shared and smelt lotus blooms innocently enjoying their fragrance, or was the lotus an Egyptian form of Viagra for women?

February 2 (Wednesday)

Mummy Fiction in Europe
19th Century

women, horror fiction and the Westernisation of the curse
mummy wheat and resurrection flowers in folklore, poetry and early curse fiction

Two lectures first presented at the 6th International Congress on Mummy Studies, Teguise, Lanzarote, Canary Islands 2007
Dr Jasmine Day (Anthropologist; AESWA Committee Member)

The recent digitisation of nineteenth century newspapers, journals and creative works has revolutionised the study of Victorian life and literature, including our understanding of mummymania – the roles of mummies in popular culture. Through the research of S. J. Wolfe and Robert Singerman, hundreds of forgotten poems, plays, short stories and news articles can now be added to the list of mummy themed works and studied for the first time in almost two centuries. Mummymania is becoming a major branch of the new Egyptological subfield called ‘History of Egyptology’.

One of the most exciting literary discoveries made possible by digitisation has been the revelation that “mummy’s curse” stories were first written as far back as the mid nineteenth century, predating more famous works by Arthur Conan Doyle and Bram Stoker – and they were written by women. Jasmine Day shows that female authors of lurid fiction likened the unwrapping of mummies to rape as a way to condemn the objectification not only of mummies, which were treated as commodities, but also of themselves in a patriarchal society. This analogy lies at the heart of the “mummy’s curse” legend.

Digitisation also reveals evidence of mummy legends that have now disappeared, such as “mummy seeds”. Many Victorians believed newspaper reports that seeds from Egyptian tombs, when planted, had grown into peas, dahlias and entire crops of wheat. Poets drew analogies with Biblical accounts of life giving wheat as God’s gift to humanity and authors depicted cursed seeds that grew into beautiful but poisonous flowers. Can ancient seeds miraculously return to life?

Previous Lectures 2010

December 1 (Wednesday)

Merry Xmas

Annual Christmas Party

Free Entry

Please bring a plate of savouries, salad or dessert to share. The $5.00 raffle gives you multiple chances to win fabulous raffle prizes. There will be a disploay of Ancient Egyptian replicas and special video entertainment.

Bring friends, partners and children.

November 3 (Wednesday)

The Horus Throne
by Patricia O'Neill

"The Horus Throne" - Reading and Signing


“Judging a book by its cover: What should ancient Egypt look like?”

presented by Dr. Patricia L. O’Neill

Patricia will be reading from her newly released novel, The Horus Throne, the second book in The Hatshepsut Trilogy. She’ll also be giving a brief presentation about the ways publishers present ancient Egypt to the consumer market as well as answering any questions you might have about Hatshepsut and her reign. Signed copies of The Horus Throne with a special hieroglyphic inscription will be available for purchase on the night.

October 6(Wednesday)

Hathor and Pharaoh

October 6. Today is the A.G.M. It will start at 6 P.M. before the lecture below.

First presentation at 7:00 PM

"Egyptomania in London"

Episode 12 of Heritage Key's Ancient World in London internet documentary series (9 minutes)

Dr Jasmine Day tours London's most spectacular Egyptianising monuments, including Cleopatra's Needle, the fabulous Art Deco Carreras "Black Cat" Factory and the mysterious Kilmorey Mausoleum, a Victorian masterpiece only recently revaealed to the public.View online at

Second presentation

"A Taste of Things to Come: AESWA Inc. Museums Tour"

Speaker: Dr Jasmine Day (Life Member of AESWA)

Are you interested in the AESWA 2012 Museums tour? Join Dr Jasmine Day on a virtual journey through Europe's greatest Egyptian collections to sample some of the highlights of our forthcoming tour, from the massive British Museum collection and Manchester Museum's famous mummy displays to priceless art treasures from the Louvre in Paris, Museo Egizeo in Turin, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in Leiden and the Egyptian Museum in Berlin.

On tour in 2009

September 1 (Wednesday)

The Aten

Akhenaten and family in prayer to Aten

"The Rise of the Aten"

Presented by Professor Raymond Williamson

Uni. W.A.: Oral & Maxillofacial Unit
R.P.H.: Plastics & M/F Unit

Aten was a being who represented the god or spirit of the sun, and the actual solar disk. He was depicted as a disk with rays reaching to the earth. At the end of the rays were human hands which often extended the ankh to the pharaoh.
Aten's origins are unclear and he may have been a provincial Sun-god worshipped in one of the small villages near Heliopolis. The Aten, the sun-disk, first appears in texts dating to the 12th Dynasty, in The Story of Sinuhe, where the deceased king is described as rising as a god to the heavens and uniting with the sun-disk, the divine body merging with its maker. Ra-Horus, more usually referred to as Ra-Herakhty (Ra, who is Horus of the two horizons), is then a synthesis of two other gods, both of which are attested from very early on.
Aten was called the creator of man and the nurturing spirit of the world. In the Book of the Dead, Aten is called on by the deceased, "Hail, Aten, thou lord of beams of light, when thou shinest, all faces live."
It is impossible to discuss Aten without mentioning his biggest promoter, the pharaoh Amenhotep IV, or Akhenaten. Early in his reign, Akhenaten worshipped both Amon (the chief god in Thebes at the time) and Aten. The first as part of his public duties, the latter in private. When he restored and enlarged the temple of Aten first built by his father Amenhotep III, relations between him and priests of Amon became strained. Eventually, relations became so strained that Akhenaten decided to build his own capital by the Nile, which he called, "Akhetaten", the Horizon of the Aten.
This lecture will describe the Rise of the God Aten and look at an interesting theory that may explain how the eruption of a volcano on one the Greek islands may have influenced Amenhotep III and his son, Akhenaten to promote this historically minor Egyptian God and to have all the other Egyptian gods abolished, their images smashed, their names excised, their temples abandoned, and their revenues impounded.

August 4 (Wednesday)

Remni and his wife, Iritenakhti
(from the tomb of Remni, the Teti Necropolis)

"The Teti Pyramid and Necropolis in Saqqara: an insight into the lives of the people of Saqqara and Memphis" "

Presented by Alanah Buck
Forensic Anthropologist (PathWest, UWA) and Honorary Research Associate for the W.A. Museum Department of Anthropology

The Teti Pyramid and it's associated necropolis, situated in Saqqara, holds great significance for both the Old and New Kingdoms. For much of the Old Kingdom, Saqqara was the burial place for the Memphite royalty and their families. As a result, several important Old Kingdom mastabas are located within the Teti complex, including those of Mereruka and Kagemni. The occupation of this highly significant site continued from the Old Kingdom until the Late Period. For a number of years, including the 08-09 field season, a number of New Kingdom structures and burials were uncovered by the Macquarie University missions. These burials, from the 18th Dynasty through to the Late Period, shed light on the use and re-use of this highly signficant cemetery and the human remains recovered provide a facinating insight into the lives of the people living in the Saqqara/Memphis area during this time.

July 7 (Wednesday)

The Pharaoh Horemheb

"Horemheb - The Forgotten Pharaoh" "

Presented by Colin Simcock (former president of AESWA, and a founding member)

We know much about Akhenaten & Tutankhamun and of course we all know about Ramesses II and but we very rarely talk about Horemheb except to malign him as the possible murderer of Tutankhamun. But without Horemheb and his astute decisions then maybe the Egyptian Civilisation would have ended with Ay, maybe we would never had heard of the Pharaoh Ramesses. Colin will discuss how Horemheb took over a country rife with corruption and put it back on the road to greatness. He will also try to put a human face on Horemheb so that you will remember him not as one of those pharaohs between Tutankhamun and Ramsess II but a great Pharaoh in his own right.

June 2 (Wednesday)

Dynasties through Time

"Ancient Egyptian Dynasties: From Early Dynastic to Greek - Roman" "

Presented by Russell Decke, JP and President (AESWA)

The large number of dynasties can be very daunting to the novice, especially over a huge expanse of time. Russell will add clarity to this huge panorama of successions.

May 5 (Wednesday)

"Boats in Ancient Egypt"

Presented by Dean Kubank (AESWA Committee Member)

Herodotus said Egypt was ‘the gift of the River’ . The Nile was the main highway for travel, trade, religious ceremonies, entertainment, as well as being an abundant source of food. The importance of boats for the Ancient Egyptians cannot be ignored, for they are reflected in the mythology, religious practices and working life. Dean will talk about how the boats were made and the purposes for which they were used.
April 7 (Wednesday)

to this date

"Kings and Kas:
Hatshepsut's Path to the Throne"

Presented by Dr. Patricia L. O’Neill (AESWA Committee Member)

The female Pharaoh, Hatshepsut, was one of ancient Egypt’s legendary rulers, but how and why she became a king has perplexed Egyptologists for generations. Trish will present the evidence that led her to a radical new interpretation of Hatshepsut’s rise to power, and which formed the basis for her award-winning novel, Her Majesty the King. You’ll hear about Pharaohs who were living gods, tombs and temples, royal intrigues and a cover-up that has lasted over three thousand years as we explore one of ancient Egypt’s most baffling mysteries.
March 3 (Wednesday)

Hunter in the Delta

"Why was Ancient Egypt so Stable?"

Presented by Russell Decke
(AESWA President and Justice of the Peace)

The stability of Egypt provided the basis for its long, ancient history. The factors that provided this stability will be fully explored by Russell. Other questions will be answered this evening, including:
What was the "soul" of Ancient Egypt?
How did the Pharoahs rule?
What were the legal traditions of this ancient country?
The answer to these and other questions will be revealed tonight.
February 3 (Wednesday)

Her Majesty the King:
front cover

"Her Majesty the King"
Reading and Signing

Presented by Dr. Patricia L. O’Neill (AESWA Committee Member)

A tale of kings and queens, a bloodstained struggle for the throne and forbidden love—when power was absolute and life was short—a young woman was destined to rule the world’s first empire. Dr. Patricia L. O’Neill will be giving a reading from her new novel, Her Majesty the King, based on the true story of the female Pharaoh, Hatshepsut. Her Majesty the King is the result of eight years of original research and presents the most accurate picture of life in New Kingdom Egypt ever presented in fiction. Her Majesty the King was awarded the NSW/New Holland Publishers Genre Fiction Prize for 2008. Come along and find out what the legendary female Pharaoh was really like. After the reading, Trish will answer questions and sign copies of her book which will be available for purchase on the night.

Previous Lectures 2009

December 2 (Wednesday)

Merry Xmas

Annual Christmas Party

Bring a plate of savouries, salad or dessert to share. Win fabulous raffle prizes. There will be stalls and Big Screen Entertainment.
Bring friends, partners and children.

November 4 (Wednesday)

Murder most horrible....
but who did it?

Presented by Marshall Hindley
Former President of the AESWA

Farewell Lecture

This will be Marshall's last lecture for the Society owing to health problelms. He looks forward to meeting with old friends and making a few new ones.

October 7 (Wednesday)

Senet the game

"The Game of Senet"

Presented by Becky Steven (AESWA committee member)

Becky Steven presents the first in a series of talks about ancient board games. One of the best known and loved ancient board games was the game of Senet. Tracing its origins through the dynasties and exploring the connections the game has with the journey into the Underworld, Becky will also explore researchers’ attempts to establish the rules of the game and then offer members a chance to try their hand at the game.
September 2 (Wednesday)

At Giza


Presented by Russell Decke
President of the AESWA

Russell will lead us through the Dynasties from the Archaic Period to the Eighteenth Dynasty and will stop at the time of Tutankhamun. This journey will be about pyramids generally though mostly about the Giza Pyramids, the Sphinx and the theories related to their construction.

August 3 (Wednesday)

Horus in Edfu Temple

"EDFU – History and Temple"

Presented by Mara Leisavnieks (AESWA committee member)

Edfu is considered the traditional location of the mythological battle between Horus and Seth, and is famous for its sandstone Ptolemaic temple. But before taking a journey through this temple we discover the ancient heart and city of this 2nd Nome of Upper Egypt.
Join Mara as she introduces you to the provincial town and it's people during the predynastic, Old and Middle Kingdom periods.Then learn some interesting facts about the Ptolemaic temple and the hieroglyphic translation work being done by the German Edfu project team.
July 1 (Wednesday)

Mentuhotep II


Presented by Ihab Eletreby

Ihab Eletreby was born and lives in Cairo, Egypt. An Egyptologist and tour guide, Ihab is our special guest presenter for July's lecture. Journey through the Middle Kingdom as Ihab takes you into Mentuhotep II's temple in Luxor, the pyramids, other famous kings and monuments of this era.
June 3 (Wednesday)

Buhen - recovered artifacts


Presented by Colin Simcock, previous president of the AESWA

In 1965 the Aswan Dam flooded the ancient Fort Town of Buhen and it was lost forever to humanity. Fortunately the Egyptian Exploration Fund sent a team of Egyptologists to excavate and report as much as possible on this ancient site. The result was the publication of several volumes of work detailing the history of Buhen. Colin will be giving a lecture based on the work carried out by the EES and explain the high importance of Buhen during the Middle and New Kingdoms.
May 6 (Wednesday)

Abu Simbel - temple of Ramses II


Presented by Jenny Bevan, Senior Curator of the Earth Science Museum WA

A country’s landscapes, landforms and rocks and other geological materials have profound effects on its development. Like every civilization, Ancient Egypt was influenced by its environment. Find out about aspects of this (including visiting some well-known monuments), and about the development of the landscapes of Egypt, the easy way, in an illustrated talk designed for non-specialists. Afterwards see some of the samples collected by the author on a recent visit to Egypt.
April 1 (Wednesday)

Roman Egyptian Woman, A.D. 100-150


Presented by Amany Hanna

The study of Egyptology which started from the end of the eighteenth century till today has revealed a lot of mysteries and secrets. In this talk Amany will answer some important questions, such as where did the pharaohs and their people disappear? What happened to the rituals and traditions of the Ancient Egyptians? What happened to their language?
March 4 (Wednesday)

Group at Fort Qaitbay in Alexandria

DVD presentation by Mara Leisavnieks (committee member)

Mara will take you on a journey through ancient and modern Egypt as experienced by the 32 members and friends on the Study Tour January 2009.
February 4 (Wednesday)

Luxor Temple


Presented by DEAN KUBANK
Treasurer and AESWA Committee Member

Join Dean as he walks you through Luxor Temple – known in Ancient Egyptian as Ipet-resyt or ‘the Southern Harem’. The temple was built for the purpose of the annual Opet festival where images of Amun were taken from Karnak by boat down the Nile to meet his consort Mut at Luxor.

Previous Lectures 2008

December 3 (Wednesday)


Bring a plate of savouries, salad or dessert to share.
Win fabulous raffle prizes at $5.00 a ticket.
There will be stalls and Big Screen Entertainment.
Bring friends, partners and children.
November 5 (Wednesday)

Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum


Presented by Dr Jasmine Day
Anthropologist; AESWA Committee Member

The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San José, California, holds the largest Egyptology collection in the western United States. Situated among Nilotic flora and recreations of ancient buildings in scenic Rosicrucian Park, the Museum itself is housed in a reproduction temple and contains a full-scale, walkthrough replica of a Middle Kingdom tomb. Explore this remarkable museum inside and out in a spectacular photographic tour.

Also see Jasmine’s live TV interview at the museum! Hear Jasmine’s REM Egyptomania podcast online at and it will open in a window of its own.
October 1 (Wednesday)

Outer Coffin of Tutankhamen


Presented by Professor Raymond Williamson
Head of the Maxillofacial Surgery Department at Royal Perth Hospital and the University of WA.

Professor Raymond Williamson – is Head of the Maxillofacial Surgery Department at Royal Perth Hospital and the University of WA. This department deals with reconstructive surgery of the face, which has proven to a useful background for studying mummies. Prof Williamson has had a keen interest in Ancient Egypt for most of his life and joined the WA Ancient Egypt Society in its first year of inception. He has been to Egypt on a number of occasions and has work as an amateur Archaeologist with Greg Gilbert, Colin Simcock and Kim Lesouef.

This lecture will begin with a brief overview of the process of mummification used by the Ancient Egyptians, followed by a discussion of the new techniques for the investigation of Ancient Egyptian Mummies.

The examination of ancient Egyptian mummies has traditionally been performed by unwrapping the mummies and dissecting them which destroys the mummy. During the last few decades, however, several research groups have provided clear evidence that the combination of various non-invasive approaches for the examination of mummies offers distinct advantages over the previously used methods of unwrapping and dissection. These new techniques for the examination of Ancient Egyptian Mummies include:

          DNA SAMPLING

Scans of two mummy heads, carried out in Perth, will be used to illustrate how Computer Tomography can used to gain valuable information on mummies. The final part of the lecture will review the findings of the CT scans of taken of Tutankhamen in January 2005 and discuss possible causes of his death.

September 3 (Wednesday)

Medinet Habu


Presented by Dean Kubank
Treasurer of the Ancient Egypt Society of W.A.

In another one of his temple talks, join Dean as he walks you through Medinet Habu, the mortuary temple of Ramses III. For those members who are on the tour in January 2009, this will give you a thorough history of the temple and points of interest to look out for.
August 6 (Wednesday)

"An Introduction to the Field of Ancient DNA and its Relevance to Research on Mummified Remains."

Presented by Dr Michael Bunce
Ancient DNA lab, Murdoch University

Researchers in the field of ancient DNA specialise in isolating and amplifying DNA from “old” material in order to learn information from the genes of things long dead. Mummified human remains from Egypt were among some of the first studies conducted in the field of ancient DNA in the 1980’s. In 1988 a technique (PCR) was developed with allowed DNA to be copied billions of times in a single reaction. For the first time this Nobel prize winning “idea” enabled researchers to obtain DNA “profiles” from degraded material. Coupling molecular archaeology together with more traditional approaches has provided some fascinating insights into the past. This presentation will introduce you to the science behind the field of ancient DNA and discuss some of the (numerous) problems associated with DNA profiling human remains such as Egyptian mummies.

Dr Michael Bunce is a Senior Lecturer at Murdoch University where he lectures in Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Forensic DNA analysis and heads the Murdoch ancient DNA laboratory. He was awarded a PhD from the Australian National University and has held postdoctoral fellowships at Oxford and McMaster Universities before starting a laboratory at Murdoch. Mike’s area of expertise revolves around using ancient DNA to study evolutionary processes and using ancient DNA profiles to investigate past biodiversity and extinctions. He has worked on a diverse variety of projects with the common theme of extracting and amplifying degraded DNA. More information about the speaker can be found at:

July 2(Wednesday)



Presented by Dr Anthony Holmes
Author of Tutankhamun: Speak My Name, Member of The Egypt Exploration Society and The Egyptian Society of South Africa

In the latter period of the New Kingdom a strange Pharaoh called Akhenaton abruptly declared the ancient gods to be obsolete! He declaredd the sun disc, the Aten to be the single omnipotent deity. After two millennia the temples of the ancient pantheon were closed and the divine statues destroyed. The economy of Egypt was brought to the brink of ruin. Was Akhenaton a Herectic or a Prophet? Was he heroic or insane? Join Anthony Holmes in an investigation into the motives for the extreme action of this fascinating Pharaoh.
June 4 (Wednesday)

Painting from the tomb of Amenemopet, Prophet of the Temple of Amun, Dyn.20 (TT148). © Alanah Buck

"Human Remains From Dra Abu el-Naga: The Theban Tombs Project "

Presented by Dr Alanah Buck
Forensic Anthropologist (PathWest, UWA) and Honorary Research Associate for the W.A. Museum Department of Anthropology

This lecture will review the finds of human material, which reflects the occupation of the tombs from the original New Kingdom owners through until the Coptic Period. A profile of the lives of the tomb users will be gained through examination of population numbers, physical characteristics and health status.
May 7(Wednesday)

cosmetics and personal hygiene in Ancient Egypt

Presented by Dr. Patricia L. O’Neill

Egypt was the Paris of the ancient world. Egyptians were famous for their artistry with cosmetics and perfume, and renowned for their devotion to personal hygiene. You will learn how ancient Egyptians kept themselves clean, sweet-smelling and beautiful, and why these attributes were of vital importance in their culture. You’ll be able to examine real ingredients used in ancient Egyptian cosmetics and fragrances and try Trish’s authentic recreations of the legendary perfumes of Tutankhamen and Hatshepsut.
April 2(Wednesday)


Presented by Amany Hanna

The study of Egyptology which started from the end of the eighteenth century till today has revealed a lot of mysteries and secrets. In this talk Amany will answer some important questions, such as where did dthe pharaohs and their people disappear? What happened to the rituals and traditions of the Ancient Egyptians? What happened to their language?
March 5 (Wednesday)

Hypostyle Hall at night


Presented by Ann Butcher and Dean Kubank

Join Ann and Dean as they walk you through Ipet-isut – Karnak. If you have already been to this great temple – be prepared to see something new – if you have never been – be prepared to be amazed by its grandeur.
February 6 (Wednesday)

Inner coffin of Keku,
Late Period
Dyn.26, Thebes

An Exhibition at the Melbourne Museum”

Presented by Dr Jasmine Day
Cultural Anthropologist
Secretary, The Ancient Egypt Society of W.A. Inc.

In 2005, a major exhibition from the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in Leiden toured eastern Australia but, unfortunately, Perth missed out. However, Dr Day was able to secure permission from the Rijksmuseum, Nicholson Museum (Sydney) and Melbourne Museum to photograph the Melbourne installation of this exhibition about the life, death and afterlife of Keku, a young woman of the Late Period (2700 years ago). See human and animal mummies, jewellery, cult statues, Books of the Dead and much more in this special presentation exclusive to the AESWA.

Previous Lectures 2007

December 5 (Wednesday)

Annual Christmas Party

Enjoy some Ancient Egyptian holiday cheer at AESWA's annual Christmas windup. Bring your partner and a plate to share. There will be special Christmas raffles and items for sale. We'll be repeating the entertaining slide and music show, "Imagining Egypt", featuring artistic works representing Ancient Egyptians and their lives. See if you can improve your score on the "Name the Pharaoh" section!"

BYO plate of salad, savouries or dessert to share.
November 7 (Wednesday)

Malkata ruins

" A study of the palace and city of Malkata
Home to Amenhotep III and Queen Tiye
during the last ten years of his reign

A descriptive lecture by Marshall Hindley
Illustrated by recent photographs of the site taken by Vivianne Rowan

Little remains today of the magnificent palace built by Amenhotep III for the celebration of his first Heb-sed festival in his year 30. In this talk the speaker will describe the plan and the function of the palace and its associated structures in an attempt to breathe life back into these scattered ruins.
October 3 (Wednesday)

Debod Temple
originally from Nubia
Now in Madrid

“In Search of Egypt”

Presented by Dr Jasmine Day, Discipline of Anthropology and Sociology, UWA / AESWA Secretary

Earlier this year, Dr Jasmine Day attended the 6th International Congress on Mummy Studies held in the Canary Islands. She then spent several days in Spain, exploring Egyptian collections in Madrid. This lecture features highlights from Jasmine’s trip: behind the scenes at the Mummy Congress, a tour of Spain’s Museo Arqueologico Nacional, plus a trip around – and inside – the magnificent Debod Temple from Nubia, which now stands in a beautiful park atop a hill overlooking Madrid. Special repeat screening by request!
September 5 (Wednesday)

Horus necklace

“Shop Like an Egyptian: Hunters and Collectors”

For Purveyors Of Fine Merchandise

Presented by Dr Jasmine Day, Discipline of Anthropology and Sociology, UWA / AESWA Secretary
Dr Patricia O'Neill, AESWA Committee

AESWA's most savvy shoppers team up to show you where to get a mind-boggling array of items with an ancient Egyptian theme. Dr Jasmine Day and Dr Patricia O'Neill will show you their favourite online shopping sites, featuring the latest and rare books, art, clothing, jewellery, museum replicas, home décor, toys and more. You'll get tips on safe online shopping and how to import from overseas. Becky Steven has also discovered the best spots around Perth to find Egyptian treasures. The presentation includes a display of items from the ladies' personal collections. Come and see all kinds of neat stuff the FedEx man will deliver!
August 1 (Wednesday)

Wooden treasures
(Tomb of Tutankhamun)

"Wonderful Things About Woodwork in Ancient Egypt"

By Beauchamp Paine
Presented by Kim Lesouef

Carpenters were amongst the artisans who worked with pride to produce not only the wonderful funerary items for the Pharaohs’ tombs but also furniture and other items for the household. With only the most rudimentary of tools and limited supplies of their primary material, they produced an astonishing array of works, including most of the wonderful thingsfound in Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s tomb. Kim Lesouef takes us on the journey of the “chippies” of Ancient Egypt, seen through the eyes of our dear Beau Paine, award-winning woodcarver and life member of AESWA.

     Our beloved Beau Paine
July 4 (Wednesday)

Scarab beetle from the Louvre collection


Dr. Jasmine Day, Discipline of Anthropology and Sociology, The University of Western Australia

To celebrate Egyptian Antiquities from the Louvre: Journey to the Afterlife coming to the Art Gallery of Western Australia in July, this lecture previews highlights from the exhibition, including sculpture, jewellery and funerary equipment. Prepare for your visit by learning to interpret offering stelae, mummy cartonnages and in the Book of the Dead. Be among the first people in Perth to see artworks from the Louvre’s storerooms now on exhibit for the first time, in this exclusive lecture adapted from material prepared specially for the Art Gallery’s own staff.
June 6 (Wednesday)

Debod Temple in Madrid


Dr. Jasmine Day, Cultural Anthropologist

Earlier this year, Dr Jasmine Day attended the 6th International Congress on Mummy Studies held in the Canary Islands. She then spent several days in Spain before continuing her search for Egyptian Revival monuments in London. This lecture features highlights from Jasmine¹s trip: behind the scenes at the Mummy Congress, London¹s architectural gems and crumbling Victorian cemeteries, and Spain¹s Museo Arqueologico Nacional, plus the magnificent Debod Temple from Nubia, which now stands in a beautiful park atop a hill overlooking Madrid.
May 2 (Wednesday)

The Ramesseum

"The Ramesseum and Temple of Hathor at Dendara"

Dean Kubank

This talk will be divided in two; with the first half devoted to the Ramesseum – mortuary temple of Ramses II and the second to the Temple of Hathor at Dendara. Both temples were recently visited in October 2006 by Ann and Dean. The talk will give a potted history of both temples, plus the opportunity to look at recent on-site photos.
April 4 (Wednesday)

The Judgement of Ani

"The Book of the Dead"

Colin Simcock
President, The Ancient Egypt Society of W.A. Inc.

Religion guided every aspect of Egyptian life. Egyptian religion was based on polytheism, or the worship of many deities. The Egyptians had as many as 2000 gods and goddesses each representing characteristics of a specific earthly force, combined with a heavenly power. The Book of the Dead was a collection of spells, hymns, and prayers intended to secure for the deceased safe passage to and sojourn in the other world. The Book of the Dead is the common name for the ancient Egyptian funerary texts known as The Book of Coming [or Going] Forth By Day. Colin will give an outline of the importance of these spells as well as the tests the deceased was required to pass in order to go through into the next world.
March 7 (Wednesday)



Colin Simcock
President, The Ancient Egypt Society of W.A. Inc.

Egypt was one of the first civilisations to commence writing as a means of communication. In fact evidence now exists which apparently proves that Egyptians may have actually invented writing. Hieroglyphs have fascinated all travellers who have visited Egypt over the ages. It is not simply that it is a written language but that it is a piece of art and the pictures want you to know more. Do they represent what they are? Is an owl an owl? If not what does an owl represent? Because every hieroglyph represents something real, it is not simply a squiggly line or a square box – it is most likely water and a square mat.

In this two-part lecuture Colin will discuss how hieroglyphs developed and what they meant to the Egyptians as symbolic figures. In the second part Colin will give a brief discussion on how to decipher hieroglyphs.
February 7 (Wednesday)

Bronze Horus

"Treasures of Ancient Egypt: Masterpieces of Egyptian Art in the Musée du Louvre "

Dr Jasmine Day
Cultural Anthropologist & Secretary, The Ancient Egypt Society of W.A. Inc.

Come on a lavishly illustrated virtual tour of the Egyptian Art galleries in the fabulous Musée du Louvre in Paris. Discover the treasures of ancient Egypt recovered by Napoleon’s scholars that gave birth to the science of Egyptology and inspired modern Egyptomania. From sacred images of gods and pharaohs to intricately decorated coffins and magical amulets, from fascinating glass inlays to rare home furnishings and board games, from monumental statuary to delicate musical instruments and stunning gold and gemstone jewellery, this massive collection features some of the most precious and beautiful Egyptian artefacts ever found.
Refreshments and biscuits will be provided.

Previous Lectures 2006

December 6 (Wednesday)

Christmas Party

Bring a plate and your partner. We'll have raffles, prizes and an Egyptian gift stall. Dr Jasmine Day will be signing copies of her recently published book, The Mummy's Curse. Running in the background will be a slide and music show produced by Dr Patricia O'Neill:

Imagining Egypt

What did Ancient Egypt actually look like? For centuries artists have presented reconstructions of Ancient Egyptian life - some meticulous, some ludicrous - but all fascinating. "Imagining Egypt" presents a selection of artistic works depicting life in the Land of the Pharaohs. Have a look, perhaps a laugh, while you nibble, chat and nourish your Ka.
November 1 (Wednesday)

"Return of the Mummy's Hair"

Further observations on the hair of two Egyptian mummies residing at the Western Australian Museum in Perth
Pierre Filion
Electron Microscopy, PathWest Laboratory Medicine W.A., Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre, Perth

The hair of two ancient Egyptian mummies in the Western Australian Museum in Perth was examined by a range of microscopic techniques. The excellent preservation of hair structure allowed a detailed study of the cellular substructure and pigment granules. The red colouration of the hair is due in part to the enveloping resin and minerals, but the hair of the female mummy shows evidence of intrinsic blonde and red pigment. The embalming resin retains traces of ancient life. Pierre Filion first presented his research at the AESWA Conference in 2004.
October 4 (Wednesday)

"Further Observations on the Geography of the Beyond and the Navigation of the Divine Barque"

Charlie Mann
Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Architecture, The University of Western Australia

Following on from his previous AESWA lecture "The Cosmogony of Heliopolis: the Temple and the Geography of the Beyond", Charlie Mann will continue his exploration of the Heliopolitan cosmogony (the legends of Ra) and the temple as an abode of the divine. The royal tombs of the New Kingdom illustrate the sun god¹s perilous voyage through the millions of miles of the netherworld, to death and ultimate rebirth in the eastern horizon.
September 6 (Wednesday)

"A Review of Tattooing in Ancient Egypt"

Kelvin Poon,
MForSc/PhD Student, School of Biomedical, Biomolecular & Chemical Sciences, The University of Western Australia

Very few physical examples of tattooing from ancient Egypt exist and there is almost no mention of tattooing in surviving written records. When searching for evidence of tattooing in ancient Egyptian art and literature, the main problem faced is that the interpretations are subjective and the examples may represent cases of tattooing, ornamental scarring, body painting or branding. From priestesses to alluring musicians, this presentation will review the neglected art of tattooing in ancient Egypt.
August 3 (Wednesday)

An Ushabti Face

"Understanding Egyptian Art"

Dr Jasmine Day, Cultural anthropologist

Discover the art of ancient Egypt, from the mythology portrayed in religious art and the magical power of amulets to the meanings hidden in everyday objects. This illustrated lecture introduces you to the history, functions and styles of Egyptian art and features original photographs of masterworks in the world's most spectacular museum collections.
July 5 (Wednesday)

Pageant Marchers at Christmas

"Egyptian Literature"

Colin Simcock, President of the AESWA

One of the undervalued arts of Egypt is their literature. Not a great deal of it has survived the passing of time. The little that was preserved shows that Egypt was capable of great drama, comedy, love, etc. Colin will be story-telling from selected pieces of literature giving you an example of what the ancient Egyptians created. This promises to be a fun but educational night. We hope that you will all come to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Ancient Egypt Society of WA with an entertaining story night of ancient Egypt’s literature.

We will have a stall with Egyptian items for sale, finger food for sale, and a mega raffle with some terrific prizes.
June 7 (Wednesday)

The Pyramid of Chephren

"The Old Kingdom (When the pyramids were built)"

Tullio De Domenico

With its legacy of pyramids, mastabas, statues, pharaohs and sphinx - the Old Kingdom is still the most mysterious period of Ancient Egyptian civilisation
The Old Kingdom is called the "golden age" of Egyptian civilization and it has determined the form and style of Egyptian art and culture for 3000 years.
In this lecture Tullio will look at the rise of Egyptian civiliation and the development of agriculture, Egypt's rulers, the major achievements of the period, the arts, monuments, mastabas and pyramids. The various theories, some controversial, about the construction of the pyramids will be mentioned, and who really built the sphinx - and what they both represent.
May 3 (Wednesday)

Sphinx on Time Piece

"Egyptomania at Home"

Dr Jasmine Day, Cultural anthropologist

Take an exclusive tour inside the homes of some of the world’s foremost Egyptomania collectors. Gavin Watson’s massive collection of rare books, priceless Wedgwood and Royal Doulton porcelain, clocks, lamps and statues is tucked away inside a terrace house in Stirling, Scotland. Bob Brier and his wife Pat Remler live in a flat in the Bronx, surrounded by Egyptian treasures from historic posters and antiques to ushabtis and even a mummy’s arm!
April 5 (Wednesday)

KV5 – A Map of the Area

"KV5 – The Tomb of Princes" "

Colin Simcock, President of the Ancient Egypt Society

The great Pharaoh Ramesses II supposedly lived to over 90 and had over 100 siblings, many of them young males you did not survive their father to the throne. Where are they all buried? Relatively recent excavations in the Valley of the Kings have resulted in the discovery of the final resting places for many of these princes. But it is not simply the discovery of burial of Ramesses sons that make this tomb so fascinating but the tomb itself. The tomb is like no other in Egypt, it is the biggest by far in the Valley of the Kings. Its design is unique.

Colin will discuss the discoveries made in the tomb, its structure and why it was built.
March 1 (Wednesday)



Marshall Hindley, ex-President of the Society

Everyone has heard of the boy-king Tutankhamen the discovery of whose tomb in 1922 caused a tremendous resurgence of interest in the history and culture of Ancient Egypt. But what is actually known about this Pharaoh? In this lecture we shall deal with his place in the history of Egypt's 18th Dynasty. His reign came at a time when Egypt was beginning to recover from the effects of the so-called Amarna Heresy and he played a pivotal role in that recovery. His parentage is still a matter for some debate and the examination of his remains last year have thrown some new light on how he could have met his premature death. In this lecture we will also deal with the discovery of his tomb and what light that threw on the burial customs of the time.
February 1 (Wednesday)



Dr. Jasmine Day, Cultural Anthropologist

Tour the greatest modern Egyptianising monuments of London, from Art Deco marvels such as the Carreras Cigarette Factory and Carlton Cinema to the Victorian ruins of Highgate Cemetery and the famous Crystal Palace, tragically destroyed by fire. See the high kitsch interior of Harrod’s department store and the newly refurbished grave of Howard Carter.

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