The Necropolis at Terenouthis
in Lower Egypt

The University of Michigan's Reconnaissance Expedition
to Kom Abou Billou, the Necropolis of ancient Terenouthis
(March to April 1935)

Table of Contents


The research documented by the exhibition Portals to Eternity began as early as 1935 when the University of Michigan, under the direction of Enoch E. Peterson, excavated a portion of the Graeco-Roman necropolis of Kom Abou Billou adjacent to the ancient city of Terenouthis in the Egyptian Delta. In 1961, the one hundred and ninety-seven funerary stelae recovered from this site and now in the Kelsey Museum were published by Finley Hooper, Professor of History at Wayne State University, in the Kelsey Museum Studies series, volume one. Recently Roger McCleary, Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, has embarked upon a reexamination of these sculptures, their chronology and meaning.

For the past year the Kelsey Museum has been privileged to have Dr. McCleary on its staff as Visiting Assistant Curator. In the course of preparing his comprehensive study of the stelae in the Kelsey Museum, he generously offered to present the results of his research in an exhibition. In this publication, introduced and edited by Associate Curator of Excavations Sharon Herbert, McCleary summarizes what is currently known about the town, the cemetery, and the people of Terenouthis in Roman times.

The exhibition is the result of the collaborative effort of Roger McCleary and the Kelsey Museum's Cordinator of Collections, Marti Lu Allen, who ably supervised each stage of preparation as curator-in-charge. Many of the objects were given a new lease on life by Amy Rosenberg, Associate Curator of Conservation, and conservation intern Diana Komejan. In the galleries, they occupy spaces creatively designed and constructed by David Slee to realize the curators' hopes of evoking the setting of the ancient necropolis. Other members of the Museum staff who have contributed to the presentation of this exhibition are Barbara May, registry assistant, Helen Baker, Administrative Assistant, and Georgia Klingler and Julie Endicott, office assistants. A final note of thanks is due to K. Lichtenbaum, N. Pollard, N. Tymensky, A. van Rosevelt and J. Walters -- students in Roger McCleary's seminar on Hellenistic and Roman Egypt. Their term papers and lively class discussions provided valuable ancillary research used in the preparation of the exhibition. This publication was designed by David Slee who, with Helen Baker, also oversaw its production. It is with great pleasure and gratitude that I acknowledge the contributions of all these members of the Museum community.

Elaine K. Gazda

Return to Table of Contents or enter the Portals to Eternity exhibition.