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The Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy at a Museum: The Morgan Library

Tickets ($10-$25) here [1].

A new Zoom talk discussing the Princess, Poetess, Priestess, Ornament of Heaven: Enheduanna, a Sumerian Woman and a Biblical Construct.

In 1927, archaeologists working at the ancient city of Ur excavated a stone disc with the name Enheduanna. She was the daughter of Sargon of Akkad, and was a remarkable woman who wielded considerable religious and political power as a princess, high priestess, and poet.

Currently on exhibit at The Morgan Library (She Who Wrote: Enheduanna and Women of Mesopotamia, ca. 3400-2000 B.C). is artwork that captures expressions of women’s lives in ancient Mesopotamia during the 3rd millennium B.C.E, highlighting that of Enheduanna. These works bear testament to the roles that religious life as well as their everyday lives as mothers, and rulers had.

Most ancient texts come to us without authorship or attribution, yet Enheduanna (ca. 2285-2250 BCE). is the first named author in history. This princess told us the grandeur and sorrows of her life in the hymns and petitionary prayers that she wrote. Her compositions were highly valued, and therefore they were copied and re-copied in antiquity; many are thought to be early foundations of some of our own biblical psalms and hymns.

Our presenter, Dr. Sharon Keller will explore this groundbreaking exhibition currently on view (through Feb. 2023) at the Morgan Library (NYC) and not only see the woman and her work, but will tease out many connections to our biblical narrative that can be seen in the exhibition.

Sharon set her sights on a PhD in Bible and Egyptology when she was in the 6th grade and steadfastly worked toward that goal earning her doctorate at NYU in the Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies in the area of Bible and the Ancient Near East. She is currently on the Classics faculty at Hofstra University and has also been an Assistant Professor of Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages at The Jewish Theological Seminary. She has held appointments at Hebrew Union College as well as NYU, and New York City’s Hunter College, world. She has written and edited numerous scholarly articles and academic books most of which relate to the interplay between biblical Israel and ancient Egypt. Her most popular book, Jews: A Treasury of Art and Literature, was awarded the prestigious National Jewish Book Award. A native New Yorker, Dr. Keller is also a tour guide with The Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy, and many of our Zoom regulars might recognize her as our Zoom facilitator for all of those talks.

If you want to hear this program, you must do so live. There will NOT be a chance to obtain a link to the recording.