Salima Ikram, founder of the Animal Mummy Project, joins Smithsonian anthropologist David Hunt to bring deep knowledge of cat mummies to the Freer|Sackler. They will explore the role of cats (and other animals) in ancient Egypt, sharing some of their extensive research on how mummies were made and exploring how modern methods are demystifying these intriguing objects. Antonietta Catanzariti, Freer|Sackler Curatorial Fellow for Near Eastern Art, moderates the discussion following their talks, organized in conjunction with the exhibition Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt.
Salima Ikram is professor of archaeology at the American University of Cairo in Egypt. A native of Lahore, Pakistan, she received her PhD in Egyptology from the University of Cambridge. Dr. Ikram is the founder of the Animal Mummy Project at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo and is one of the world’s foremost experts on animal mummies. She lectures widely on the role of animals in ancient Egyptian society and was guest curator of the National Museum of Natural History exhibition Eternal Life in Ancient Egypt.
David Hunt is a physical and forensic anthropologist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History (NMNH). He has carried out extensive research on mummies, including cat mummies, and was the curator of the NMNH exhibition Eternal Life in Ancient Egypt. In addition to his museum-based research, Dr. Hunt has participated in excavations around the world. He received his PhD from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.