Not Only With The Dead: Banqueting in Ancient Egypt – by Prof. John Baines, Oxford

Stela of Wepemnofret

Stela of Prince Wepemnofret – Giza – Dynasty (c 2500)

Today, I had the honour of sitting at an offering table at the Egyptian Society Taunton, for a delicious intellectual feast served up with style and aplomb by  John Baines – Professor Emeritus, Egyptology; Fellow – Queen’s College, Oxford.

His talk about Banqueting in Ancient Egypt looked at the etiquette, tradition and representations of eating and drinking in the Egyptian culture.

Whilst the deceased were very frequently shown seated before offering tables groaning with sustenance for them to enjoy in the afterlife;  they were seldom depicted enjoying the fare.

This is something that I had read about, but John looked at it in-depth:
There are many examples of banqueting – clearly food and wine, dancing and celebrations were of high priority to the Egyptians.  Yet they were rarely shown actually eating or drinking:  he discussed the possible reasons for this, and took us through interesting representations of banqueting in Ancient Egypt.

He also discussed the very interesting fact that whilst it was, understandably, a huge compliment and social achievement to be included on the royal banqueting guest list; it was a great privilege and honour, to be permitted to actually eat in the presence of a pharaoh!  It was fascinating!

Another excellent speaker and topic delivered by the Egyptian Society Taunton.

Thanks again!

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