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U of M’s Legacy of Egypt Lecture to highlight ‘Green Head’ sculpture

Dr. Lawrence Berman

The 16th annual Legacy of Egypt Lecture at the University of MemphisInstitute of Egyptian Art and Archeology on Thursday will feature discussion of small-yet-fascinating item — the “Green Head” sculpture of a shaven-head Egyptian priest that is part of the Museum of Fine Arts’ collection in Boston.

The speaker will be Dr. Lawrence M. Berman, senior curator of Ancient Egyptian, Nubian and Near Eastern Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, who will present “The Priest, the Prince and the Pasha: The Life and Afterlife of an Ancient Egyptian Sculpture.” The lecture begins at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Rose Theatre, south lobby, room 115. A reception will begin at 6:15 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.

In his 2015 book of the same title, Berman described the “Green Head:”

Although only ten-and-half centimeters high (a little more than four inches), the head makes a monumental impression. When complete, the figure was probably standing or kneeling, Most Egyptian statues in the Late Period were made to be placed in temples rather than tombs. Our man was probably shown holding an attribute appropriate to the temple setting such as a statue of a deity, or a naos, or shrine, containing the image of a deity, as an emblem of his piety. If standing, the figure would have been about 71 centimeters (28 inches) high; if kneeling, about 44 centimeters (17 1.2 inches) high, to which one would have to add up to 2 inches for the height of the integral base.

The “Green Head,” carved in the early fourth century B.C. out of a gray-green stone known as graywacke, was discovered in 1857 and later donated to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in 1904.

— Phillip Tutor, CCFA media coordinator,

Published inInstitute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology

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