Before lockdown

I was busy with a multitude of teaching in a variety of venues.  I was mid-way through my Journey Up the Nile course at the Centre for Continuing Education, at the University of Liverpool.  In this module we started our journey in Alexandria, as early travellers, such as David Roberts and Amelia Edwards did. We cruised up the Nile, visiting sites, examining the paintings and texts of our early travellers. To complement this, we looked at modern archaeological evidence.  This combined approach allowed us to view elements sadly now lost, but with the benefit of new academic knowledge. My last day of teaching was in the Garstang Museum, at the University of Liverpool, where the students had a handling session.  We studied some fascinating objects from sites we had visited in our course, including a beautiful example of a blueware vase from Amarna. The decoration suggests floral collars, we can imagine them draped over the wine vessels at feasts and festivals. In contrast, we also looked at a Bes pot from Esna, which is cruder in manufacture and later in date (c.600 BC).  While Bes was a god of jollification, he was associated with healing in this time period.  It is possible liquids stored in this vessel took on curative qualities; the contents could then be drunk or bathed/washed in.  Imagine the stories these pots could tell!