Life and Death in Egypt’s Western Desert during Late Antiquity

All are welcome to Dr. Nicola Aravecchia (USA) presentation on Egypt’s early-Christian places of worship.

The presentation takes place on the  21. September, 18.15, Jakobi 2-213.

Life and Death in Egypt’s Western Desert during Late Antiquity: Archaeological Data from Dakhla Oasis

This lecture will illustrate the results of the archaeological work carried out at two sites in the Dakhla Oasis of Upper Egypt, i.e., the Greco-Roman city of Amheida/Trimithis and the rural settlement of ʿAin el-Gedida. Particular emphasis will be on the archaeological evidence for the existence of Christian places of cult at both sites since the early fourth century CE, when Christianity was officially sanctioned as an accepted religion of the Roman Empire. The oases of Egypt’s Western Desert proved to be very fertile grounds for the development of Christianity and the early adoption of artistic and architectural forms that are traditionally associated with Christian cult. The lecture will consider the contribution that the evidence from Amheida and ʿAin el-Gedida offers on the Christianization of Egypt, including its most remote desert settlements, during Late Antiquity.

Nicola Aravecchia is affiliated with New York University and will join Washington University in St. Louis in January 2018. He holds a Ph.D. in Art History and an M.A. in Ancient and Medieval Art & Archaeology, both from the University of Minnesota. Nicola’s research interests encompass the art and archaeology of Graeco-Roman and Late Antique Egypt. His current work focuses on the origins and development of Early Christian architecture in rural Egypt, particularly in the Dakhla Oasis of Upper Egypt. Nicola is the field director of the excavations at ʿAin el-Gedida, a fourth-century settlement in Dakhla, and the deputy field director at Amheida, a Graeco-Roman city located in the same oasis.