Living the Dream: 27 Years of Fieldwork in the Egyptian Sahara
Free Public Lecture
This is a story of living the dream; achieving what Dr Gillian Bowen once considered impossible. By telling her story, she hopes to inspire not only young academics, but also students of all ages, particularly those who feel disillusioned and that a fulfilling career is out of reach. From an early age she was fascinated by the ancient world and dreamed of working in that field. In 1980, thanks to Whitlam’s free access to higher education, she joined numerous other mature-age students and began to study Ancient History at Monash University. Following her Honours year, a fortuitous meeting with Colin Hope and a subsequent invitation to join his archaeological team in Egypt’s Dakhleh Oasis, led to the fulfilment of a life-long passion: excavating in Egypt. It also provided her with an ideal PhD topic.
In this talk Bowen will look at the highlights of her research in Dakhleh Oasis, which focuses upon the early Christian monuments of the region. It includes an introduction to the ancient village of Kellis which was abandoned at the end of the 4th century and preserves some of the earliest surviving churches as well as a wealth of evidence of everyday life. Bowen will also look at our interaction with the local communities and the men we rely on to undertake the hard excavation work.
Dr Gillian Bowen, Adjunct Research Fellow
Dr Gillian Bowen
Adjunct Research Fellow
Gillian Bowen is an Adjunct Research Fellow in the Centre for Ancient Cultures. Her areas of research specialisation are Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt, and early Christianity. Each year she undertakes archaeological field work at the site of Ismant elKharab, ancient Kellis, in the Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt, where she focuses upon the early Christian monuments. She is also the numismatist for the Dakhleh Oasis Project.