1997-98 ANNUAL REPORT
W. Raymond Johnson
W. Raymond Johnson supervised a third short season of documentation work in November for the Egypt Exploration Society at the Ramesses II small Ptah temple in ancient Memphis, focusing on reused blocks of Nebmaatre Amenhotep III. He and artist Will Schenck began collating the drawings of the sixty-two blocks identified so far and will return next November to finish the collation. The material, quarried by Ramesses II for reuse in his Ptah shrine and presently in an active state of decay, will be published in the Egypt Exploration Society's Survey of Memphis series.
This winter Ray's Epigraphic Survey duties left him little time for writing, but he still managed to churn out a chapter entitled "The Setting for Amarna: History, Religion, and Art" for the Boston Museum of Fine Arts "Pharaohs of the Sun: Akhenaten, Nefertiti, and Tutankhamun" exhibition catalogue, slated for the turn of the millennium. In July the long-awaited volume of collected essays, Amenhotep III: Perspectives on his Reign, edited by David O'Connor and Eric Cline (University of Michigan Press) finally appeared (after ten years), featuring a chapter by Ray entitled "Monuments and Monumental Art of Amenhotep III: Evolution and Meaning." In this essay Ray discusses Amenhotep III's monument building activities within the theological framework of the king's jubilees and subsequent deification.
This summer Ray was invited to document the back support inscriptions on the Oriental Institute Museum's 17-foot, quartzite Tutankhamun/Ay colossus. This enormous centerpiece of the Egyptian collection, excavated by the Epigraphic Survey in the thirties, might have been quarried for Tutankhamun who died before it could be inscribed for him. It was inscribed first by his successor Ay, who set it up in his mortuary temple in west Thebes, and then by Ay's successor Horemheb, who appropriated Ay's mortuary temple and everything in it. Horemheb erased Ay's titulary on the back of the statue and carved his own in its place, but many traces of Ay's original carving can still be seen (and none of Tutankhamun). With the kind assistance of the conservation and preparators' staff who provided materials and scaffolding, Ray was able to trace the entire inscription before a supporting brace was installed that now obscures part of it from view. He and Peter Dorman will publish a joint study of the inscription in the future.
In July Ray oversaw the printing of the Epigraphic Survey's latest publication Reliefs and Inscriptions at Luxor Temple Volume 2: The Facade, Portals, Upper Register Scenes, Columns, Marginalia, and Statuary in the Colonnade Hall at the Chicago Press. This season marked Ray's nineteenth season of work in Luxor for Chicago House, and his first full season as Field Director.
Revised: July 30, 2007