Tag Archives: Egypt

Why Listen to Museums?

This is the text of a talk I gave during the Soundscapes Late event at the National Gallery in London on 4 September, 2015. You can also download and listen to a recording of the talk on my SoundCloud page. Continue reading

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Cultural Heritage in the Age of 3-D Printing: Rise of the Intangible?

A year ago, I wrote a post about 3-D printing and its impact on cultural heritage in the museum world. Last week, I presented an expanded version of the essay as a paper at the tenth annual Arts in Society conference at Imperial College London.

You can now read the paper on Academia.edu.


Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Listening to Karanis: The Mer-Wer Remix Project

A new essay of mine entitled “Listening to Karanis: The Mer-Wer Remix Project” has just been published in the new exhibition catalogue Karanis Revealed: Discovering the Past and Present of a Michigan Excavation in Egypt, which documents an exhibition at the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology at the University of Michigan. Continue reading

Cultural heritage in the age of 3D printing

Egypt’s current Antiquities Minister Mohamed Ibrahim is planning to file a formal complaint with UNESCO, declaring that a replica of the Sphinx built at a recently opened Chinese amusement park “harms Egypt’s cultural heritage.” The life-sized Chinese Sphinx replica was completed in April 2014, but judging by a photo of it, I would be hard pressed to call it an exact replica of the original. It’s close enough, however, to have angered the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities. There appears to be no evidence of the Chinese attempting to pass off their Sphinx as the original, particularly since it sits within an amusement park instead of a pyramid complex, thereby cut off from any of the cultural context that would usually give the Sphinx its meaning.

Or is it? Continue reading

loose connections

“[In 16th century Europe, the time of the first curiosity cabinets,] . . . alchemy and magic were seen to be right at the cutting edge of a scientific method . . . Natural magic, the pursuit of the prisca theologica, the first knowledge revealed to Adam and handed down in a hermetic tradition to Moses, Orpheus, Pythagoras and later magi, assumed that the key to the understanding of the world lay in deciphering the alphabet in which the universe was written at its creation.” 

– Philipp Blom, To Have and To Hold: An Intimate History of Collectors and Collecting, p. 44 (2002)

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“Ptah: The local god of Memphis [in ancient Egypt] . . . created by means of his heart and tongue, thus fashioning the world by the power of his word. The god’s creative power was then manifest in every heart-beat and in every sound.”

– Manfred Lurker, The Gods and Symbols of Ancient Egypt, p. 96-97 (1991)

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“What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence.”

– Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, p. 89 (Routledge 2001)