1996-97 ANNUAL REPORT
Robert K. Ritner returned to the Oriental Institute in July as Associate Professor in Egyptology after five years as the Marilyn M. Simpson Assistant Professor of Egyptology at Yale University. In addition to teaching eight courses during the year, he delivered the opening Members Lecture with a discussion of marital discord among the gods, entitled "Seven Brides with Seven Stingers: The Scorpion Wives of Horus." For the symposium "Egypt and its Neighbors" in Toronto, he lectured on "Chiefs, Ill-fated and Evil-plumed: Libyan Relations with Egypt." For the Chicago Humanities Institute, he surveyed "Aspects of Ancient Egyptian Magic." At the Dallas chapter of the American Research Center in Egypt he spoke on "Oracles of the Dead," and at the annual convention of this society in Ann Arbor, he raised the possibility of "Necromancy at the Heb-Sed?" With Robert Biggs, he attended a Pittsburgh symposium on "Progress and Change in Ancient Near Eastern Medicine and Diet" and lectured on "Innovation and Adaptation in Ancient Egyptian Medicine." As a founder of the continuing Chicago-Stanford Seminar on Hellenistic Egypt, he served as respondent for "Perspectives on the pompe of Ptolemy II Philadelphus" during the Stanford session in April.
Ritner's Oriental Institute volume on The Mechanics of Ancient Egyptian Magical Practice (Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilization 54, 1993) sold out its second (1995) edition and is now in preparation for a third printing in five years, unprecedented for an SAOC volume. Other published works include a selection of religious texts translated in The Context of Scripture, edited by W. Hallo and L. Younger, for which Ritner served as Egyptological consultant. The subjects of his current articles varied from the first edition of a Demotic contract ("A Cession Document from the Theban Archives of Amenothes Son of Harsiesis," published in Enchoria 22) to a study of metrology ("The Earliest Attestation of the kpd-Measure," published in Studies in Honor of William Kelly Simpson) and a popular overview of Egyptian funerary customs ("The Cult of the Dead," in Ancient Egypt, edited by David Silverman).
A member of the editorial board of Writings from the Ancient World, he is preparing a volume of translations for the series, provisionally entitled Egypt from Sheshonq to Assurbanipal, comprising the primary documents of the Libyan age (ca. 946-610 bc).
Revised: July 30, 2007