Since the very beginning of human evolution, communication has played a crucial role in social development. In our modern world, when messages are conveyed through countless routes, it is very appropriate to look back and understand how interaction influenced past societies.
‘Connections’ aims to explore the ways in which the ancient Egyptians communicated between each other and those in a wider international environment. The methods they used are not far removed from our own, using various verbal and non-verbal techniques. Contributions to this study include investigations of written communication, along with interaction through material culture, gestures and much more. ‘Connections’ hopes to provide a unique insight into the ways that the Egyptians communed with the deceased, the illiterate, the divine and sacred worlds, foreign countries and different social groups.
An online catalogue accompanies a physical exhibition taken from objects loaned to the University of Birmingham from the Eton College Joseph William Myers Collection of Egyptian antiquities. These objects are among the finest items of Egyptian art to have been collected during the late nineteenth century. Many of them are small masterpieces in their own right – but those less aesthetic objects also communicated messages, and have not been neglected in this project.
In a world when the media of internet, television, radio and telephones never existed, the Egyptian people maintained systems of communication not far removed from our own – in verbal, non-verbal and symbolic ways. ‘Connections’ aims to explore and interpret these systems and put people and their media in the centre of this exhibition.