Pharoah at the Bat

Pharaoh at the Bat: Egyptian Bat and Ball:
The Earliest Archetype of American Baseball


Dr. Peter A. Piccione


Department of History,
College of Charleston, University of Charleston, S.C.


This talk will report on findings of a research project on the ancient Egyptian royal bat-and-ball ritual, Seqer-hemat ("Striking the Ball"), its connections to an original secular bat-and-ball game played by Egyptian children, with aspects of the game and meanings of the ritual. It also makes comparisons with the cosmology and higher meanings often associated with modern American baseball (as national pastime, "if you build it, he will come," etc.), and so it places Seqer-hemat as an early archetype of baseball, both in its play and its ability to create larger meanings about life, society, heroic achievement, promoting communal identities, and national loyalty.

Dr Piccione received a PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago with a Concentration in Egyptology. In addition to his academic appointment, he is Co-Director and co-principal investigator for the College of Charleston On-line Geographical Information System for the Theban Necropolis (OLGIS-TN), and Director of the Theban Tombs Publication Project. He has excavated at the workman's village and royal production center associated with the pyramids of Giza, and has extensive experience in archaeological mapping, ground proofing of satellite mapping, and archaeological conservation, with an emphasis on the preservation and interpretation of Egyptian inscriptions.

Further information: 973-655-3479 or 973-655-7420,