The idea of organizing a series of events as part of the activities of the Lady Wallis Budge Fund at Christ’s College, Cambridge, first came up in a conversation with Prof. Frank Kelly, then master of the College, in the spring of 2014. As further detailed in the Introduction to this volume, the first such event became an Anniversary Symposium in early 2016 commemorating the 80th anniversary of the appointment of the first Lady Wallis Budge Junior Research Fellow at Christ’s College. This volume presents most of the papers given on this occasion. First and foremost, I am very grateful to the Managers of the Lady Wallis Budge Fund for entrusting me with this project, and for generously funding the symposium. I also thankfully acknowledge the additional support of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research of the University of Cambridge. The research project Conceptions of the afterlife in ancient Egyptian mortuary religion (University of Cambridge, 2014–2017), which provided the framework for the Symposium, was funded by the Carlsberg Foundation and the Isaac Newton Trust.
A number of people contributed to making the day of the symposium an enjoyable and stimulating event. Many thanks go to the speakers and session chairs, including, apart from the contributors to this volume, Prof. Janet Richards (University of Michigan) who presented a paper at the meeting but was unfortunately unable to contribute to the proceedings, as well as Dr Antonio Morales (Freie Universität Berlin) and Dr Janine Bourriau (University of Cambridge) who ably steered discussions in two of the sessions.
I am also grateful to Egyptology graduate students at Christ’s College Sergio Alarcón Robledo and Hilary Stewart for capable help with the practicalities before and during the symposium. The event was further supported by the remarkable efforts of the College catering and conference staff, not least Kevin Keohane and Sue O’Donnell.
Atlanta, December 2018