While our latest special exhibition, Ancient Color, has been extended through the end of July, our museum prep team is busy readying our next show, Graffiti as Devotion along the Nile: El-Kurru, Sudan. Set to open on August 23, this exhibition explores ancient and medieval graffiti discovered during recent Kelsey excavations at the cemetery site of El-Kurru in northern Sudan. Carved on a pyramid and in an underground temple, these enigmatic graffiti include symbols of ancient Kush, intricate textile designs, boats, and animals, as well as small round holes gouged in the stone — areas where temple visitors scraped the wall of the holy place in order to collect powdered stone that they would ingest to promote fertility and healing.
Through photographs, text, and interactive media presentations, this exhibition will explore the times and places in which the graffiti were inscribed, as well as highlight the Kelsey's efforts to preserve them.
So mark your calendar for the August 23 opening. In the meantime, you can read an interview with the exhibition co-curators, Geoff Emberling and Suzanne Davis.