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

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