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Individual Scholarship

1991-92 Annual Report

Lanny Bell

The tragic death of Martha Hope Rhoads Bell on November 12 in a fatal traffic accident on I-78 near Hillside, New Jersey, has forever changed the life of Lanny Bell and has overshadowed all of his activities described in this report.

Lanny's published work this year includes the 2nd English edition of the Chicago House Map and Mini-Guide to Luxor (jointly with Carol Meyer), and the 1st French edition (with a German edition forthcoming). Accepted for publication is Lanny's "New Kingdom Epigraphy," an essay for the catalogue to accompany the exhibit, "The American Discovery of Ancient Egypt," co-sponsored by the American Research Center in Egypt and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Lanny's university service included membership on the Priorities Committee of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. Lanny's lectures for the University community included "Mythology and Iconography of Divine Kingship in Ancient Egypt: How Could the Ancient Egyptians Believe their Kings were Gods?"-given for the University of Chicago Humanities Open House; "Chicago House: Salvage Archaeology in Luxor, Egypt"-for the University of Chicago Alumni Association's Clubs in Tucson (organized in conjunction with the University of Chicago's centennial celebration) and in New York City; and "Mummies, Magic, and Medicine: An Introduction to Ancient Egyptian Funerary Beliefs and Practices"-for the annual meeting of the American Association of Academic Chief Residents in Radiology, held in Chicago: versions of this talk were presented for the Archaeological Institute of America's Northern New Jersey Society and for the Oriental Institute's "Chicago Day" program. He served as co-lecturer with Professor Gene Garthwaite of Dartmouth for the two week joint University of Chicago Alumni Association and Dartmouth College study trip, "Egypt: Ancient Land in a Modern World," during the spring break. Lanny gave a report on the highly successful tour for the Standing Committee on Alumni Educational Services at the semi-annual meeting of the Board of Governors of the Alumni Association. Lanny conducted an introductory tour of the Oriental Institute Egyptian gallery for members of the National University Continuing Education Association's conference, "Developing and Teaching Programs for Adults in the Humanities, Arts, and Sciences: Teaching Adults in Changing Times." For the Oriental Institute, he gave a topical gallery tour, "Scribes and Secretaries in Ancient Egypt," for Professional Secretaries' Day. He gave a lecture, "The Ancient Egyptian Language and the Art of Writing," for the full-day Members' Symposium, "Literacy and Scribal Traditions in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia"; he gave an expanded version of his talk, "An Introduction to Ancient Egyptian Language, Writing, and Literature," for the annual docent training course. For a special Docent Day organized in conjunction with preparations for the opening of the exhibition, "Vanished Kingdoms of the Nile: The Rediscovery of Ancient Nubia," he served as a panel member on "Ethnicity in Ancient Egypt." His teaching this academic year included the course Introduction to Egyptian Epigraphy. This was the first time this course had ever been taught at the University of Chicago, despite the sixty-eight-year history of the Oriental Institute's Epigraphic Survey: the class examined both epigraphic theory and practice, considering what to look for on a wall and how to represent its various features, as well as how to evaluate an epigraphic publication.

This year Lanny became a Consultant for the Brooklyn Museum's Department of Egyptian, Classical, and Ancient Middle Eastern Art for the reinstallation of the thematic Egyptian galleries under the title, "Temples, Tombs, and the Egyptian Universe." Additionally, his external professional activities included gallery tours of the Egyptian collections of the Field Museum of Natural History and the Oriental Institute for Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim Bakr, newly appointed President of the Egyptian Antiquities Organization, at the annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America. He was also elected President of the Chicago Society of the Archaeological Institute of America. Lanny's presentations as a National Lecturer for the Archaeological Institute of America included "In the Tombs of the High Priests of Amun-Re of Karnak and the Viceroys of Kush in the Time of Ramesses II" for the Long Island Society (at Great Neck) and the New York City Society (co-sponsored by the American Research Center in Egypt). He served as lecturer for the Archaeology Project of the Archaeological Institute of America, a pilot outreach program for seventh graders in the Chicago Public Schools, presented in conjunction with the Field Museum of Natural History in the Chicago Board of Education's "Adopt a School" program: here he discussed "The Work of the Archaeologist in Egypt." He spoke in Hyde Park on "Egypt from Top to Bottom: Thirty Years in the Field" in Kenwood Academy's Science Seminar Series for high schoolers. He was a co-lecturer (with Frank Yurco) for the Field Museum of Natural History's Education Department's program, "Ancient Egypt in Chicago." At the triennial International Congress of Egyptology (held this time in Turin, Italy), his lecture, "Family Priorities and Social Status: Preliminary Remarks on the Ancient Egyptian Kinship System" (abstract published in Sixth ICE: Abstracts of Papers, pp. 96-97), was featured in a plenary session: one of twenty-two plenary speakers at the week-long conference, Lanny was the only one representing a North American institution. His other national lectures included "Recent Discoveries in Egypt: Luxor Temple" for the Arizona Chapter of the American Research Center in Egypt (at Tucson) in the series "Modern American Exploration of Ancient Egypt." He also presented "The New Kingdom `Divine' (Cultic) Temple: The Example of Luxor" for Fordham University's Charles and Elizabeth Holman Symposium on Ancient Egypt, "Ancient Egyptian Temples: Rituals, Functions, and Meanings." The symposium was dedicated to the memory of Gerry Quinn and Martha Bell, as will be the resulting publication.

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