Presented by Dr. Jessica Tomkins, California State University, San Bernardino
When the first kings unified Egypt, did they immediately impose an authoritarian regime upon the state? The mechanisms by which the ancient Egyptian state functioned in the Early Dynastic Period and Old Kingdom are still not well understood. The provincial officials of the Old Kingdom are particularly numerous but their role in the larger system is difficult to understand. We have the physical evidence of the officials who worked on behalf of the king, but we have little information about how they worked together with him (or each other) to further the needs of the state. Were they simply the king's puppets doing as he willed or were they independent beyond his control? In light of recent work that has argued for a decentralized Old Kingdom state, this talk will discuss a new model of statehood which may help to illuminate the intricacies of the nascent Egyptian state.
Dr. Jessica Tomkins is the inaugral W. Benson Harer Egyptology Scholar in Residence at California State University, San Bernadino, where she is currently teaching Ancient Egyptian History and researching objects at RAFFMA. She completed her PhD in Egyptology at Brown University in 2018 and also holds a Master of Studies in Ancient Greek History from the University of Oxford and a BA in Ancient History and Egyptology from University College London. In 2017, Dr. Tomkins worked at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA as the Terrace Research Associate in Egyptian Art. She has published research on the local governors of Old Kingdom Egypt and has previously given invited lectured throughout California and New England.
Location: NORMA KERSHAW AUDITORIUM