The Centre for Maritime Archaeology (OCMA) and the University of Zurich held a conference on Religious Landscapes of Egypt – Late to Greco-Roman Period from 16 – 18 February 2017 at the University of Zurich.
Far-reaching changes were happening in the religious life of Egypt during the latter part of its ancient history. From over the ‘Sea of the Greeks’ came foreign peoples, both as settlers and conquerors, bringing from their homelands their own gods and ritual practices. The meetings between Egyptians and incomers ushered in a dynamic period of accommodation and creative (mis)understanding as communities sought to negotiate their place within the new social and religious world or to stand apart from it.
This conference investigated how these various processes played out across Egypt’s religious landscapes in texts, buildings and material culture. Papers examined how change happened through an investigation of religious thought and practise, from the construction of temples to the deposition of objects. They confront the spectrum of developing responses in the cities and towns of Egypt from the early parallel lives of Egyptian and Greeks at Thonis-Heracleion to the later synchronicity of the god Serapis and the construction of temples to venerate divine Roman emperors and celebrate the Imperial Cult.
The conference was organised by OCMA, which is based in the Institute of Archaeology, University of Oxford, in collaboration with the University of Zurich, the Museum Rietberg and the European Institute for Underwater Archaeology (IEASM). The conference was supported by the Hilti Foundation.
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