Pittsburgh Theological Seminary will host archaeologist John Darnell, professor of Egyptology at Yale University, Thurs., Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the Knox Room, Long Hall. During his lecture, Darnell will address “Nubians, Alphabets, and Bread Forms—New Light on the Second Intermediate Period in Egypt’s Western Desert.”

The vast deserts stretching west of the Nile Valley—although today virtually uninhabited wastelands—were once criss-crossed by large ancient highways. Work along these ancient roads has led to new perspectives on Egyptian history and even sheds light on the origins of the alphabet.

Interactions between Egyptian expedition leaders and foreign auxiliaries appear to have fueled the creation of an alphabetic script—the first examples of which are present in the Wadi el-Hol, along a desert road northeast of Luxor. Shortly after those alphabetic inscriptions were carved, the Egyptians embarked on another great desert adventure—the creation of a major economic and military hub in Kharga Oasis (about 150 miles from the Nile Valley). The discovery of this “lost city” in 2005 and excavations since 2008 have added hundreds of square miles to pharaonic Egypt and provide a new “desert” perspective on the events of the Second Intermediate Period (ca. 1650-1550 BCE). Thus far, work at the site has revealed a large bakery area, with literally tons of discarded bread forms, and evidence of Nubian activity—almost certainly evidence of southern mercenary troops stationed alongside the Egyptians.

A reception will follow the lecture, which is free and open to the public. The Bible Lands Museum will be open to visitors from 6:00-7:15 p.m. and after the lecture. Contact the Museum at 412-924-1394 for more information.

Pittsburgh Theological Seminary is a graduate professional institution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A). Founded in 1794, the Seminary is located in Pittsburgh, Pa. and approximately 310 students are enrolled yearly in the degree programs. The Seminary prepares leaders who proclaim with great joy God’s message of good news in both word and deed. PTS is rooted in the Reformed history of faithfulness to Scripture and commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.