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Notes from the Director

After a sabbatical year spent primarily in Jerusalem as the Annual Professor at the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research, it is a pleasure to be back in my office in Ann Arbor contemplating a second five-year term as director of the Kelsey Museum. The year away was refreshing and allowed me to get considerable work accomplished toward publication of the horde of 2,000+ Hellenistic sealings found in the course of the Kelsey’s excavations at Tel Kedesh in the Upper Galilee. I was also able to travel to other sites and museums, most notably Zeugma on the Euphrates River in southern Turkey, where an international team of archaeologists working against time and rising flood waters salvaged fantastic Roman mosaics and a cache of 140,000 sealings similar to those from Kedesh. I now realize how lucky I am to have found “only” 2,000!

I returned to find the Museum thriving thanks to the conscientious work of Laurie Talalay as Acting Director and our ever-capable staff and curators. The exhibitions program continues to be active. We have just opened a show featuring David Roberts’s evocative lithographs of Near Eastern sites and landscapes, which highlights our newest acquisition of his work—a view of St. Catherine’s monastery in the Sinai. This is particularly appropriate for the Kelsey collection since George Forsyth worked there while directing the Museum. As you will read in the accompanying article, Janet Richards’s show, “Individual and Society in Ancient Egypt,” is well under way. It will open March 7 with a lecture by Professor Ronald J. Leprohon, a noted historian of Egyptian religion from the University of Toronto. Terry Wilfong’s show “Archaeologies of Childhood: The First Years of Life in Roman Egypt,” scheduled to open in fall 2003, is in initial planning stage. Archaeological fieldwork remains an important part of the Kelsey’s research program, with Janet Richards’s ongoing project at Abydos. My own excavations at Tel Kedesh are on hiatus due to the uncertain political situation in Israel. In the meantime, however, I’ve been invited to join the Packard Humanities Institute project at Zeugma and am planning to take a small Kelsey contingent there.

Our outreach programs are flourishing on several fronts. Schoolchildren continue to visit and come away amazed and enlightened by the collections. We staffed a hieroglyphic station at the Exhibit Museum’s annual Halloween party, which more than 800 attended. The Kelsey will host two international workshops, the first November 7–10 on “Communities and Commodities: Western India and the Indian Ocean (11th–15th Centuries CE)” and the second in March on the state of Aegean Prehistory Studies. The spring Associates’ event, scheduled for April 24, will feature Dr. Greg Henry speaking on “Emergency Medicine in Ancient Egypt: Things Your Mummy Never Told You.” There will also be two family days in the spring, the first on Saturday, April 5, featuring “Individual and Society in Ancient Egypt,” the second on Saturday, May 17, on “Life in the Ancient World.”

Once again I want to say how pleased I am to be back among the Kelsey family and how much I look forward to seeing you all in the course of this year’s events.

—Sharon Herbert, Director