The Consulate General in New York hosted in June 23,2011 Prof. Miroslav Barta, PhD., Czech Institute of Egyptology, who gave a lecture on the origin of the Ancient Egyptian Civilization.
24.06.2011 / 20:45
The origins of ancient Egyptian civilisation have been attracting the attention of archaeologist ever since the beginnings of Egyptology more than 200 years ago. This lecture will present a new and original interpretation of the rock art in Egyptian Western Desert which is of a key importance for our understanding of the roots of ancient Egyptian civilisation. Indeed, her very origins can be most likely dated to the 6th millennium B.C. In this time and the centuries to follow the paintings in the Cave of the Swimmers known from a blockbuster English Patient and in the Cave of Beasts discovered only few years ago were created. These caves are located in a distant and hardly accessible part of Egypt, on the border of Egypt, Libya and Sudan.
The rock-art preserved in these caves features several unique motifs that will become cornerstone of ancient Egyptian iconography and mythology. Among them may be named the motif of the sky goddess and the earth god, prototypic representation of an ancient chieftain in the much later pharaonic guise or the concept of cave creatures protecting the entrance to the Netherworld.
During the Fifth and Fourth millennia B.C. the vast areas of Western Desert suffered from a major depredation of climate that most likely led to a gradual evacuation of the region and instigated appearance of permanent settlements in the Nile valley which led to genesis of ancient Egyptian culture. The lecture will present a theory according to which at least some parts of the rock art in the Western Desert was created by an ancient mind that later on contributed to the intellectual emergence of ancient Egyptian civilisation in the Nil.
Miroslav Bárta graduated from Egyptology and Prehistoric and Early Historic Archaeology at Charles University in Prague. Ph.D. studies in Prague and Hamburg. In 2002 habilitation in Egyptology and since 2009 professor of Egyptology. Main fields of research: archeology and history of the third and second millenia B.C., landscape archeology in antiquity, rise and fall of complex societies, interdisciplinary research, archaeological background of the Old Testament. Since 1991 excavating in Egypt, 2003-2008 research of the Western Desert, since 2009 working also in Sudan. In 2002 led the first detailed satelite mapping of the pyramid fields of Abusir, Saqqara and Dahshur. 2003-2004 teaching at UPenn, Philadelphia, PA. Since 2010 head of the Czech archaeological concession at Abusir.