COSI’s Lost Egypt Exhibition

Stump Dr. Mark Lehner by COSI
June 17, 2009, 9:36 am
Filed under: From the Field | Tags: , , , ,

Author: Carli

Dr. Mark Lehner, who was at the Lost Egypt exhibit opening, is featured in COSI’s weekly podcast segment called “Stump the Scientist.” This week’s question comes from a young girl who attended the Member Preview on the exhibit opening day. She wanted to know how old the pyramids were, and how anyone could tell their age. There may not be anyone on the planet better equipped to answer that question than Dr. Mark Lehner, Director of Ancient Egypt Research Associates and foremost expert on the Sphinx.

Dr. Lehner recently paired up with Dr. Zahi Hawass, of the Supreme Council of Antiquities to film a documentary about the Sphinx, the Lost City, and the AERA Field School. The filming was a chance for the two archaeologists to take a walk down memory lane together. According to Hawass:

“On the third day of filming, Mark Lehner and I talked about how we met over thirty years ago, and how our friendship grew as we worked together, starting our first excavation to the northeast of the Sphinx. We found evidence from the different ages that the Sphinx has witnessed, including the Old Kingdom, the New Kingdom, and the Roman Period. We have been working together for decades to understand this amazing monument, and I am so happy that the two of us could tell our story together – as two boys who met in front of the Sphinx, became friends, and grew up to reveal its secrets.”

Dr. Lehner talks more about the project in the AERA newsletter. For more of Dr. Zahi Hawass on the Sphinx film, visit his blog.


Lost Egypt is Open! by COSI

Author: Carli

COSI has held an unprecedented number of opening events to kick off the Lost Egypt exhibit. We started with a Columbus Metropolitan Club luncheon last Wednesday featuring COSI President and CEO David Chesebrough, Executive Director of The Columbus Museum of Art Nannette Maciejunes, and Archaeologist at the Ohio Historical Society and advisor on COSI’s Lost Egypt project Dr. Brad Lepper. We followed that up with a huge Press Preview on Thursday morning with media, sponsors, dignitaries, and community leaders, with opportunities for media to interview Dr. Mark Lehner and Ana Tavares of the Ancient Egypt Research Associates.

Friday evening was our VIP Dinner event, To Egypt & Back: an Evening with Dr. Mark Lehner, with nearly 150 people enjoying a Mediterranean-style dinner and lecture on the “Lost City” of the pyramid builders by Dr. Lehner. Saturday morning was our Member Preview where members got a sneak peak of the exhibit and saw the film Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs on the Extreme Screen. And finally, we opened to the public on Saturday at Noon. It was a marathon of events, but we had a ton of great feedback from guests that we wanted to share.

For more videos from opening weekend, check out COSI’s YouTube Channel!

AERA is back in the field! by COSI

Author: Kate

Our Lost Egypt project advisers from Ancient Egypt Research Associates have entered another field season in Egypt.

Lost City Excavation (1 of 2)

Lost City Excavation (1 of 2)

Lost City Excavation (2 of 2)

Lost City Excavation (2 of 2)

Their goals at the Lost City of the Pyramid Builders’ site this season are:

  • Excavate House Unit 1, a large high-status house in the western section of the town.
  • Investigate an area we call the Chute to better understand its function.
  • Investigate remote sensing anomalies detected by Glen Dash’s team in the Western Extension of the town to determine the type and date of buildings that may lie in this area.
  • Investigate the construction of the Lost City enclosure wall.
  • Excavate Late Period burials in the Western Extension and train the field school osteology group.
Wall of the Crow

Wall of the Crow

Students and teachers have just started arriving for the Giza Field School, in which students will learn advanced skills in Ceramics, Illustration, Survey, and Osteology. Some of the Egyptian graduates will be teaching the classes to the next group, and eventually the school will be an Egyptian-run operation.

We’re very excited to see what they discover in their research this season. Check out the blog for their 2009 season – which is the 20th field season of the Giza Plateau Mapping Project under Mark Lehner. You’ll see postings from some of our advisors – Ana Tavares and Mary Anne Murray!

Ana Tavares

Ana Tavares

Mary Anne Murray

Mary Anne Murray

Thank You… to Everyone by Josh
March 10, 2008, 10:04 pm
Filed under: Trip to Egypt | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Author: Josh

Sorry for our missing entries from yesterday-we stole some moments in the afternoon for some much-needed rest, sleep that was pretty much negated by another late-night flight (this time, back to Cairo) followed by another 5 am alarm clock bell. But please don’t regard this as a complaint. While we have certainly been burning the candle at both ends, there is no doubt in my mind that this trip has been a wild success.

After spending our time yesterday refining the rest of our itinerary, rewriting some interviews, and reviewing our remaining shots, we had the chance to film some more incredible interviews today. As Carli mentioned, we met with Dr. Mark Lehner, who was absolutely amazing.

After having spent so much time the past few months reading about Mark’s work, the opportunity to sit down with this remarkable scientist was one of the high water marks of my professional career. Hearing him speak so passionately and eloquently about archaeology in general and Giza specifically, and visualizing the way his words melded beautifully with our exhibit…well, words fail to describe.

But in addition to meeting with Mark, we had the pleasure of meeting with some of the members of his team at the Giza site. We spoke with Mary Anne Murray, an archaeobotanist, Anna Wodlinska, a ceramicist, and Camilla Mazzucato, a GIS specialist. Each of these women provided us with more wonderful insight into their jobs at the Lost City and how what they do is influenced and enhanced by the other members of their team.

It’s been a revelation to me just how wonderful and gracious each and every person whom we’ve interviewed has been thus far. They’ve given freely and happily of their time, in some cases with very late notice, and each and every expert has provided us with more real scientific information that we can place directly into Lost Egypt. I can’t imagine having created this exhibit without their thoughts, expertise, and good will. If any of you are reading this now, again, I thank you.

It’s hard to believe that we will leave this wonderful place in just over a day. Each and every day here brings new discoveries and more breathtaking sites, and our little exhibit has grown infinitely stronger with each passing hour. Hopefully someday I’ll be able to return…well, no time for sentiment now. We’ve another full day tomorrow.

Flying High – Literally and Mentally by Carli

Author: Carli

We’ve been averaging about 5-to-6 hours of sleep per night, and working about 17-hour days. I can barely keep my eyes open, but the incredible adventures continue every day, and I don’t want to miss a single moment. Yesterday, I got on a hot air balloon at 6AM and floated amongst 30 other balloons, watching the sun rise over the Nile, and taking photographs of the sugarcane fields and the Valley of the Kings below. We hopped an evening flight back from Luxor to Cairo, arriving around 2AM to the hotel, and slept until about 5:30AM this morning. We then headed back out to interview team members from the Giza Plateau Project.

My triumphant moment of the day – interviewing Mark Lehner, living legend of the discipline of Egyptology, esteemed archaeologist, and foremost expert on the pyramids. During the interview, we talked about the Giza Mapping Project, his discovery of the Lost City, the interfacing of different archaeological disciplines to complete pictures of ancient daily life, the importance and relevance of studying ancient Egyptian history, and scientific method involved in the process of archaeology.

The final line of questioning relating to scientific method and the proving or disproving of hypotheses brought me to tears. He essentially outlined the entire educational function of the Lost Egypt exhibit in a way that combined science, fantasy, discovery, curiosity, and the desire to seek out truth.

I couldn’t help but picture children at COSI standing in front of a kiosk station listening to Dr. Lehner speak and becoming inspired to take a similar career path. The impact of the project and the interview itself overwhelmed me. I am so proud of the work we have done here, and the product that will result from our efforts.