Recorded Talks Online

I have now uploaded recorded versions of a selection of talks to my YouTube channel (please subscribe – it makes a big difference!). Some are these are freely accessible, while others are available for a small fee. A complete list of the talks I have hosted myself is below either with links to the free recordings or instructions as to how you can get access to the others.

Of course I will be giving further lectures online in due course – details will be posted to this page as soon as I have them.

 

AFTER AKHENATEN. Nefertiti, Smenkhkare, and where were they all buried?
Originally given online in April and May 2020
Fee £6 payable via PayPal or Monzo. Please include a private message / note including your email address and a ref. to the talk e.g. ‘For access to After Akhenaten talk’. Thanks!

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?

A guide to further reading and related resources online is available here.

 

EGYPT’S LOST PYRAMID
Originally given online in May 2020.
Accessible via YouTube here and below:

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. Do take a look a look!

A guide to further reading and related resources online is available here.

 

THE KINGDOM OF KUSH
Originally given online in June 2020.
Accessible via YouTube here and below:

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.

A guide to further reading and related resources online is available here.

 

SEARCHING FOR IMHOTEP
Originally given online in June and July 2020, and again in November 2020.
Accessible via YouTube here and below:

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?

A guide to further reading and related resources online is available here.

 

ALEXANDER THE GREAT. Buried three times in Egypt… But where are those tombs?
Originally given online in July and August 2020.
Accessible via YouTube here and below:

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?

A guide to further reading and related resources online is available here.

 

EGYPTOLOGISTS’ NOTEBOOKS – a mini lecture series based on the book of the same name (more info here) which had just come out at the time. 

EGYPTOLOGISTS’ NOTEBOOKS PART I: An Untouched Antique Land
Originally given online in October 2020.
Accessible via YouTube here and below:

Imagine a time before Egyptology, when Egypt was known to Europeans for its great ancient civilisation but only through the accounts of classical authors and the Bible. The earliest western visitors went to Egypt in the hope of seeing the pyramids, great cities, and perhaps the evidence of the presence of Joseph and Moses. Their expectations were sometimes exceeded, sometimes confounded: the pyramids were the great wonder of ancient repute, but Alexandria lay in ruins, and Memphis seemed lost. Nonetheless what they and their successors saw filled them with awe and some saw things Europeans were entirely unaware existed: imagine being among the first to see the ‘hundred gated Thebes’ of Homer, or the first to set eyes on Abu Simbel or Meroe…

 

EGYPTOLOGISTS’ NOTEBOOKS PART II: Artists, Expeditions and Nationalist Competition
Originally given online in November 2020.
Accessible via YouTube here and below:

In 1798 a French expedition under Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Egypt in order conquer and exploit the country and disrupt British access to India. The expedition was forced to withdraw the following year in the face of resistance from British and Ottoman troops but Napoleon had also brought with him a corps of artists and scientists – ‘savants’ – whose task was to create a grand ‘description’ of the natural environment of the country and its monuments. The record they created was the first comprehensive survey of the country’s archaeology. In the years that followed more and more Europeans settled in Egypt, and many sought to create their own accurate records of the country’s monuments, improving on the savants’ Description as more and more monuments were discovered and scholars able to read hieroglyphs demanded more inscriptions be copied with greater accuracy. These records were of enormous value in their time and all the more so since, as many of the monuments they saw have since been lost…

 

EGYPTOLOGISTS’ NOTEBOOKS PART III: Archaeology Begins
Originally given online in November 2020.
Accessible via YouTube – COMING SOON – subscribe to my channel to be notified!

In the early nineteenth century the European powers considered the acquisition of ancient monuments for their respective national collections to be a fine way to bring glory upon themselves. And the bigger the collection, the bigger and finer or more exotic the pieces, the better. This led to intense competition, in particular between the British Consul, Henry Salt, and his French counterpart Bernardino Drovetti, both of whom were voracious collectors. Both employed a number of agents to uncover and remove antiquities, initiating the first archaeological excavations in the country. Salt and Drovetti both amassed multiple collections which were ultimately sold to the major museum in Europe, in particular in London, Paris and Turin. Two of their agents, Belzoni and Rifaud are responsible for the discovery of many of the great masterpieces of sculpture now in European museums. Their methods didn’t quite match up to the standards of today’s archaeologists but things were going to change…

 

CLEOPATRA: TOMB, BATHS and BIRTH-HOUSE
Originally given online in December 2020 and January 2021.
Accessible via YouTube here and below:

Cleopatra is perhaps one of most famous figures in the ancient world and yet little of what we know about her comes from archaeological evidence in Egypt. The story of her final days is well know and classical accounts tell us a little of her tomb and where it was, but it has never been found. She created a myth that she was Isis and her son, Horus – to help establish their legitimacy – and yet these crucially important scenes were lost over a century ago. Famously she bathed in milk and yet the ‘baths of Cleopatra’ which were a must-see for 19th Century travellers have now disappeared. What happened, and how can Egyptologists’ records help us to retrieve what has been lost?

A guide to further reading and related resources online is available here.

 

THE MISSING TOMB OF AMENHOTEP I
Originally given online in February 2021.
Fee £6 payable via PayPal or Monzo. Please include a private message / note including your email address and a ref. to the talk e.g. ‘For access to Amenhotep talk’. Thanks!

Amenhotep I was the second king of the Eighteenth Dynasty, and of the great period Egyptologists call the New Kingdom. Although all kings were semi-divine he seems to have enjoyed an unusually elevated status as a kind of ‘patron saint’ of the workmen of Deir el-Medina, who cut the royal tombs in the Valley of Kings. And yet his own tomb is one of few belonging to the kings of this period that has never been found. There are several candidate locations all of which are explored in this talk…

A guide to further reading and related resources online is available here.

 

TUTANKHAMUN: In Life, Death & Eternal Afterlife
Originally given online in March 2021.
COMING SOON…

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 – of an eventful life, an early death, what came next, and how the treasures in his tomb have helped us to tell that story.

A guide to further reading and related resources online is available here.

 

EGYPT’S SILVER PHARAOHS
Originally given online in July 2021.
Fee £6 payable via PayPal or Monzo. Please include a private message / note including your email address and a ref. to the talk e.g. ‘For access to Silver Pharaohs talk’. Thanks!

The end of the Twentieth Dynasty was also the end of the great era known as the New Kingdom. By this time Egypt had relinquished its empire, and pharaoh no longer even controlled all of his own country which was now split between the king in the north and an all-powerful Chief Priest in the south. This was the beginning of the ‘Third Intermediate Period’. Such phases are generally harder to understand – the evidence is thinner on the ground and confused, but they are generally held to be times of relative decline. But in 1939 a French archaeologist Pierre Montet discovered the royal tombs of the Twenty-first and Twenty-second Dynasty kings at Tanis in the Delta region, several of which turned out to be intact. What Montet had found might have caused a sensation to rival the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb – a solid gold death mask belonging to Psusennes I, several others like it and countless other treasures including several falcon headed coffins, one of solid silver, a material, that was much less common in Egypt than gold. But the world’s attention was elsewhere – WW2 had broken out… This is the story of his incredible discoveries but also of the tombs that are yet to be found…

The guide here was prepared following series of talks which dealt with similar themes and should, I hope, be of use for anyone looking to take their interest in the subjects covered further.

 

Egyptians, Libyans and Kushites: The Third Intermediate Period UNTANGLED!
Originally given online in July 2021.
Fee £6 payable via PayPal or Monzo. Please include a private message / note including your email address and a ref. to the talk e.g. ‘For access to TIP Untangled talk’. Thanks!

This talk is designed as a complement to my previous lecture on ‘Egypt’s Silver Pharaohs’ (7 and 8 July 2021). The era following the end of the New Kingdom is relatively little known and poorly understood. Scholars are still arguing, even now, about how the history of the period, and sequences of kings, should be reconstructed. Two things are clear: first, Egypt was split between two or more more rulers for much of the period, and attempts at unifying it were generally short-lived; second, this was a time when the country was subject to the influence of successive groups of foreigners hence the alternative names ‘Libyan Period’ for the 22nd and 23rd Dynasties, and ‘Kushite Period’ for the 25th. Reconciling the ‘dynasties’ of the ancient historian Manetho with the archaeological evidence remains a challenge, and provides a lesson in how scholars have used the evidence to understand what was happening at this confused and confusing period of history. The aim here is to explain what we know, and how we know it. Limber up, and come and join me!

The guide here was prepared following series of talks which dealt with similar themes and should, I hope, be of use for anyone looking to take their interest in the subjects covered further.

 

ROYAL MUMMIES, ROBBERS & CACHES

Originally given online in August 2021.
Fee £6 payable via PayPal or Monzo. Please include a private message / note including your email address and a ref. to the talk e.g. ‘For access to Royal Mummies talk’. Thanks!

On 3 April 2021 the world watched the ‘Pharaohs’ Golden Parade’ in Cairo, Egypt. The bodies of the kings of the New Kingdom – the Royal Mummies – were being transferred from the Egyptian Museum on Tahrir Square in Cairo to their new home at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation (NMEC) where they will be the star attraction. Isn’t it incredible that the bodies of these famous pharaohs including Thutmose III, Amenhotep III, Sety I and Ramesses II have survived, and in such good condition…? How is it that we have the bodies of so many important people – kings, queens and others – of the 17th to 21st Dynasties, but hardly any from before or after that time? The answer is an incredible story of tombs, robbers, a country desperate for cash (in ancient times!), and two of the most spectacular archaeological discoveries ever made…

A guide to further reading and related resources online is available here.

 

HERIHOR, his tomb, and the priests who became kings
Originally given online in September 2021.
Fee £6 payable via PayPal or Monzo. Please include a private message / note including your email address and a ref. to the talk e.g. ‘For access to Herihor talk’. Thanks!

The Twenty-first Dynasty was characterised by a split between the pharaoh in the north, and the Chief Priest of Amun at Karnak who came to take control of Thebes and the south. Herihor was among the first of these newly powerful Chief Priests, and was in authority during the early stages of the ‘restoration’ and caching of the royal mummies of the Valley of Kings and elsewhere. His tomb has never been found, although tantalising clues have appeared in the remote ‘western wadis’ of Thebes. Herihor and the other Chief Priests of the era were also in command of the armies and the judiciary, and they adopted some of the trappings of kingship, but were they really ‘kings’ of Thebes? And what would that mean for the kind of tomb Herihor might have had…?