Lecture: The Rediscovery of PAM’s Egyptian Scarab Collection

March 7, 2018 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Miller Gallery, Mark Building

Lecture by John Sarr

The Portland Art Museum is home to more than 1,350 ancient Egyptian scarabs and amulets. Although the collection entered the Museum in 1929 and was partially on display until the mid-1980s, most of the objects were hidden away in the vault for decades, for the lack of expertise to catalogue them. Local Egyptologist John Sarr, who began investigating the scarabs in the 1990s, has just completed a year of intensive research on the scarabs. In this illustrated lecture, he will unpack the mysteries of these tiny works of art. Carved between 4800 and 2300 years ago, and usually smaller than one-inch long, scarabs were used during life as seals or amulets and in death as a means of securing an afterlife. They often bear motifs or inscriptions that reveal much of ancient Egyptian religious beliefs. Sarr is an independent scholar, writer, and teacher who has taught extensively on Ancient Egyptian culture and the hieroglyphic language. He is an active member of the American Research Center in Egypt and founding president of the Center’s Oregon chapter.

View the Gayer-Anderson Collection of Ancient Egyptian Scarabs and Seals online.

Sponsored by the Asian Art Council.

Free and open to the public. Advance reservation is recommended and available online.

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The Portland Art Museum is pleased to offer accommodations to ensure that our programs are accessible and inclusive. All spaces for this program are accessible by wheelchair. Assistive listening devices are also available for lectures. All restrooms have accessible stalls but no power doors. There are single-stall all-gender bathrooms available. Please ask staff for directions.

We will do our best to accommodate your needs when you arrive, however, we need 2-3 weeks advance notice for some specific requests. Please email requests to access@pam.org, or call 503-226-2811.

Amenhotep III Commemorative Scarab, New Kingdom (1540-1075 BCE), light brown stone.
Amenhotep III Commemorative Scarab, New Kingdom (1540-1075 BCE), light brown stone, The Gayer-Anderson Collection of Ancient Egyptian Scarabs and Seals; Gift of many donors in memory of Albert E. Doyle, 29.16.1354