This talk will explore how and why Pompey’s Pillar – more properly known as Diocletian’s Column – has inspired storytellers, artists, and adventurers from Roman times to the present day. The enormous column is one of the few standing monuments preserved from ancient Alexandria in Egypt. It has survived numerous regime changes and earthquakes from the time it was set up on a high hill near the Mediterranean coast of Egypt. After the destruction of Alexandria’s famous ancient lighthouse, Pompey’s Pillar endured as a symbol of Alexandria and a celebrated landmark for travelers arriving in the city by land and sea. Presented by Dr. Paul Stanwick.
The Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East and the Harvard Museum of Natural History is hosting a hybrid lecture on iron harvested from meteorites in Ancient Egypt.
In this lecture, Almansa-Villatoro will discuss Egyptian texts, iconography, and religious writings that associate iron with the sky and stars, indicating that ancient Egyptians were aware that meteorites came from space. This knowledge—most likely shared with other ancient civilizations that connected iron and sky in their texts—was lost in modern times, as it was only until the eighteenth century that meteorites were confirmed to be of extraterrestrial origin.