BLUE: Symposium Exploring Aspects of Life in Ancient Egypt

university-1This is another ‘taster’ course offered by Manchester University and Museum; and is the on-line equivalent of their February study day – and I cannot tell you how fascinating it proved to be!

We covered far more than just the colour blue; we looked at the colours that were available to the Ancient Egyptians, the symbolism they held for them, and the reasons why.  I learned about ‘Grue’ – those colours which span the blue/green spectrum.  I knew that blue and green were important colours to the ancient Egyptians; and now I understand why this was so.  We looked at faience and glass making;  we ‘felt blue’ via the Amarna Letters, and finally, we investigated the ushabi and other various artefacts.

Colours were not simply seen as we see them; for example the term for the colour green can also be used to mean ‘freshness’ – therefore, the word for green, could be used to mean fresh meat, whereas we would think of green meat as anything but fresh!

Green was a symbol of life and growth, and black was a symbol of the potential for life.  Red was associated with the desert – with dryness, aridity, the absence of life, the absence of the potential of life, so red could have rather negative connotations!

These are but a few of the fascinating insights of this course – and if you wish to learn more, just go the the Manchester Museum website (link above).

Colourfully yours, Jan

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Dr. Joyce Tyldesley, University of Manchester. Bookmark the permalink.