While the world remains in lockdown owing to the Coronavirus pandemic I’ll be giving a few lectures online. For details please see below. I’ll be running these via Zoom, the online communications platform. To attend any of the talks you’ll need to register by clicking the links below. Attendance is limited and places are likely to fill up quickly so please only register if you are confident you’ll be able to attend. If you have any questions please let me know via this page.
UPDATE 19 MAY 2020: I’m now hoping to continue to provide lectures online indefinitely, whether the world remains in lockdown or not. In order to ensure I can cover my costs there will be a small charge to attend some of the lectures in future (more on this here).
If you’d like to know more about how the lockdown has affected my work as a self-employed Egyptologist, writer and broadcaster, or if you’d like to support my work please see here.
ALEXANDER THE GREAT. Buried three times in Egypt… But where are those tombs?
Friday 31 July, 11.00 am (UK time). Fee £4.
Wednesday 5 August, 5.00 pm (UK time). Fee £4. REGISTER HERE
Alexander the Great conquered vast amounts of territory and came to rule a greater empire than had ever existed up that time. Along the way he chased the reviled Persians out of Egypt and was welcomed as pharaoh. He stayed in the country for just a few months and never returned, dying a few years later in Babylon. But his body was brought to Egypt for burial by his eventual successor, the general Ptolemy, no doubt in a suitably grand monument. Classical authors tell of visits by Julius Caesar, Augustus Caesar, Hadrian and others, but the tomb (or tombs…) has never been located. Where was it, and could it yet be found?
TUTANKHAMUN’S TURBULENT REIGN
Saturday 15 August, 9.00 pm (UK time)
Hosted by New Day Culture. Fee US$12.50. REGISTER HERE.
It’s often thought that Tutankhamun was a pharaoh of minimal significance: he was just a boy when he came to the throne, he died only a few years later as a young adult, and almost nothing was known about him until his tomb was found to be, by chance, intact. But in fact his reign represents a pivotal moment in Egyptian history. He was born in the midst of the revolution of his predecessor, Akhenaten, whose image – along with that of his queen Nefertiti – is a grotesque parody of the serene beauty of traditional Egyptian art, who asked his people to forget almost all their gods, and moved thousands to a brand new capital city in the desert. It didn’t last, and it was during Tutankhamun’s reign that Egypt emerged from its punk rock phase and normal service was resumed.
PREVIOUS ONLINE TALKS:
PEOPLE AT AMARNA. From Akhenaten and Nefertiti to John Pendlebury and Mary Chubb
Tuesday 14 April 2020, 12.00 pm (UK time)
Thursday 16 April 2020, 5.00 pm (UK time)
Tuesday 21 April 2020, 11.00 am (UK time)
Hosted by The Egypt Exploration Society.
A recorded version of this talk is now available via the Egypt Exploration Society’s YouTube channel and here (see below):
Tell el-Amarna is the name we give to the site of Akhetaten, the city founded by the heretic pharaoh Akhenaten as the capital of his new Egypt. His story has proven to be one of the most captivating from anywhere in the ancient world and yet it was almost completely unknown until less than two hundred years ago. Various travellers, expeditions and archaeologists have helped reveal the evidence for what happened in the relatively brief period of the city’s existence, and the contribution of the various EES expeditions in this is immense. In this talk we’ll look at the site, some of its history and the work of those who have revealed Amarna to be one of the most important ancient sites in the world.
For those who have joined / will be joining any of the ‘People at Amarna’ talks, a guide to further reading and other resources online is available here.
AFTER AKHENATEN. Nefertiti, Smenkhkare, and where were they all buried?
Monday 27 April 2020, 12.00 pm (UK time) FULLY BOOKED
Wednesday 29 April, 5.00 pm (UK time) FULLY BOOKED
*NEW DATE: Monday 4 May 2020, 5.00 pm (UK time).
What happened after Akhenaten’s death? Where was he buried? Who succeeded him? Could it have been Nefertiti? And who was Smenkhkare? Tantalising clues have been found at Amarna and in the Valley of Kings. But how to make sense of them?
For those who have joined / will be joining any of the ‘After Akhenaten’ talks, a guide to further reading and other resources online is available here.
EGYPT’S LOST PYRAMID
Wednesday 13 May 2020, 5.00 pm (UK time). FULLY BOOKED
Monday 18 May 2020, 12.00 pm (UK time). FULLY BOOKED
Wednesday 20 May 2020, 5.00 pm (UK time).
In 2017 an Egyptian Mission discovered a previously unknown pyramid at the site of Dahshur & it seemed the burial chamber was intact… I was lucky enough to visit to make a film when the tomb was opened. This is the story.
The film was broadcast in the UK on Channel 4 in October 2019 and is available via All4 here. It subsequently appeared on the Smithsonian Channel in North America, see here. Do take a look a look, there will be a chance for you to ask any questions you might have at the end of the talks!
As with previous talks a guide to online resources and further reading is here.
THE KINGDOM OF KUSH
Wednesday 24 June 2020, 5.00 pm (UK time).
Friday 26 June 2020, 11.00 am (UK time).
PLEASE NOTE: There is no mandatory charge for this event but registration is on a ‘pay what you like’ basis. If you would like to make a small contribution I would be very grateful; you can do so via PayPal or Monzo (no sign up required in either case).
Thank you and see you at the talk!
The Kingdom of Kush: Egypt’s mighty rival in the south. Egypt expanded into the territory to its south at various times in history, built monuments there and influenced the beliefs and practices of the people they encountered. But the influence went both ways; at times the tables turned and the Kingdom of Kush, centring on the cities of Kerma and later Napata and Meroe, became more powerful than Egypt. Kings of Kush even came to rule Egypt as the Twenty-fifth Dynasty. They retreated after a century of rule but continued to thrive in the middle Nile Valley for centuries more, burying their rules under distinctively tall pyramids. This is their story.
The usual guide to further reading and online resources is available here.
SEARCHING FOR IMHOTEP
Wednesday 3 June 2020, 12.00 pm (UK time).
Monday 8 June 2020, 5.00 pm (UK time).
*EXTRA DATE: Sunday 5 July, 6.00 – 8.00 (UK time).
This event will be hosted by The Explorers Club. A big thank you to Sarah Janes for the invitation!
Imhotep. The name has been made famous by Hollywood mummy movies but the real-life man of this name was perhaps even more extraordinary. He is credited with designing the Step Pyramid, the very first of these iconic monuments, and long after his death he became a folk hero, and eventually a god. Despite his status, his tomb has never been found. Two thousand years after he lived, the ancients made thousands of offerings to him around a group of tombs of Imhotep’s time. Could one of them have been the final resting place of the man himself?
For anyone wanting to follow up any of the specific issues discussed, a guide to online resources and further reading is here.
CAUSING HIS NAME TO LIVE: the ancient Egyptian quest for immortality
Sunday 19 July, 7.00 pm (UK time)
Hosted by New Day Culture. REGISTER HERE.
The discovery of the intact tomb of pharaoh Tutankhamun by Howard Carter in 1922 was the greatest moment in the history of archaeology. It brought to light more than 5,000 of the most exquisite objects to have survived from the ancient world, masterpieces which speak to the vision and imagination of the Egyptian artists and craftsmen, and their ability to work with a wide range of materials – wood, stone, ceramic and precious metals especially, of course, gold. Such beautiful objects need no more explanation – they can simply be enjoyed as exquisite works of art – but in fact every item was present in the tomb for a reason: they were the equipment the king would need for his journey to an eternal afterlife. This is the story of how he got there.