Adela Oppenheim: New Discoveries in the South Temple of Senwosret III at Dahshur

Friday, January 24, 2020

6:30 p.m.—Pre-lecture Reception ($5.00 per person)

7:00 p.m.—Lecture (free) 

Abstract—The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Egyptian Expedition has been working in and around the pyramid complex of Senwosret III for nearly 30 years. Temples and chapels related to the king’s cult and those of the women of his family have been excavated along with several mastabas that belonged to his high officials. During the last few seasons, work has concentrated on the complex’s South Temple, a structure built later in the reign of Senwosret III that seems to represent a new temple type. 

The excavation has uncovered fragments of architecture, relief decoration, and sculpture that are not only beautiful works of art, but reveal important information about changes in the beliefs surrounding the king. Still unclear is the ritual purpose of the temple, though it seems to be at least partially related to the solar cult and the sed-festival. This lecture will explore the exciting new finds made in the south temple and their possible implications.  


505 East Braddock Rd., Alexandria, VA 22314

(across the street from the Braddock Road station on Metro’s blue and yellow lines)


Venue sponsored by Maria and Richard Calderon in association with

 Hands Along the Nile Development Services Inc. (HANDS)


During the pre-lecture reception, there will be a raffle for Egyptian-themed items such as books, journals, and jewelry. ARCE-DC members receive a free raffle ticket for each one they buy.

Meet-the-Speaker and Networking Dinner—

After the lecture, join ARCE-DC members and guests for a dinner with the speaker. We will meet at Lena's Wood-Fired Pizza & Tapjust a couple blocks away. Each attendee pays for his or her own dinner and contributes an extra $5.00 to defray the cost of the speaker's meal.  Please RSVP at



Adela Oppenheim is a curator in the Egyptian Art Department of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. She received her B.A. from New York University, M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, and Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University for a dissertation on the decorative program of Senwosret III’s pyramid temple. 

Oppenheim co-directs the museum’s excavations at the Middle Kingdom pyramid complex of Senwosret III at Dahshur (with curator emeritus Dieter Arnold), where her work focuses on the relief decoration of the king’s temples and chapels, as well as the mastabas of high officials. She has written and lectured extensively on Middle Kingdom art and the results of the Dahshur excavations. She was co-curator (with Dorothea Arnold) of the exhibition Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom, held at the Metropolitan Museum in the fall/winter of 2015-16 and was one of the editors and authors of the accompanying catalogue.