A rough start to the day

Ok, NOT the way I wanted to start the day (it is a busy one). First, forgot my flash drive with all my updated files. One problem with living in a digital world is keeping work synchronized between computers. I don’t trust the cloud, so I use a flash drive and ChronoSync. But if I forget my flash drive at home, I am in trouble.

Then, I get to the office to find that my first meeting has been cancelled, as the person’s flight from Italy was delayed. Oh well!  We will meet again. She is a computer scientist, and now that our teaching is over for the semester, it is time to discuss our next collaboration. We are both keen on gaming and 3D. The problem is getting either time or a researcher to help out. One of my ideas is to do more with 3d printing of liminal entities.

3 Ancient Egyptian “demons” made with a 3d printer pen (a snake with arms, a turtle, a ram/Seth hybrid); a replica clay cobra figurine; a wooden divine figurine


It seems like it could be useful to create the creatures that are otherwise known only through texts or in 2D images….  Next meeting is about to start. This one is with mu DeMinions (aka 2 wonderfully gifted PhD students who are part of this project).

Conference organisation

March 21-24, 2016 we are hosting a conference on Demon Things: Ancient Egyptian Manifestations of Liminal Entities. Needless to say, it is alot of work. At the moment, we are gathering speaker confirmations for the conference. One of my main tasks will be to get our database ready for the start, as it is due to launch on the first evening! We want to get feedback from users during it (and somehow before it!)

We have 2 versions in the works:

1) A data entry version for researchers. Some of the issues we have yet to sort out is how to grant access for scholars who would like to add their own data (from their own dataset or time period). How do we control the quality?

We are using FileMaker Pro, as it has a server version, and is cross-platform (this is very important to us.)

Here is a screen shot of what one of the pages looks like from our “DemonBase” Screen shot from DemonBase (as I write the 2 PhD students involved in the project are working on the database. One is just arriving back from Egypt, where she took photographs, and the other is inputting). As of today we have 3100 entities recorded!


2) A public facing website. This is the most difficult task. What we need is someone who likes to design websites. But first, what do people want to see? Focus groups would perhaps be useful? Time time time!

Hello world!

What are Ancient Egyptian “Demon Things” and how are they related to DH?

First, a little introduction to the Ancient Egyptian Demonology Project.  Demonology project logo copy

As in the past, demons abound in the media today—from tales of possession to the labeling of political policies as “demonic,” to the channeling of spirits for healing. Some of the most prevalent rituals in the ancient and modern worlds are those that are designed to target demons who were blamed for a host of physical and psychological ailments, problems, and afflictions. Other rites call upon helpful demons for protection and defense. For the ordinary person in Ancient Egypt, they likely played a greater role in their everyday lives than the well-known gods Amun, Ra, Isis, Osiris, or Hathor.

One of our aims is to illuminate this darker side of Ancient Egyptian life.

Now for the “DH” part. I am the director of The Ancient Egyptian Demonology Project: 2K

Ancient Egyptian Demonology Project: 2K

The aims of this specific project are to:

  • Create a data-driven classification of Ancient Egyptian demons and related paraphernalia from the second millennium BCE
  • Establish an interactive database, (accessible through a website), allowing data to be shared and augmented by other scholars and researchers
  • Apply new methods of data visualization to convey the results effectively and engagingly to scholars and the public alike (including 3D!)

This project was funded by the Leverhulme Trust and the Research Institute of Arts & Humanities at Swansea University)

In the days to come I will talk more about the project… as a teaser… we are very busy organising a conference… yay!