July 2015

Egypt Holiday 2014: Valley of the Kings

Obviously you can’t spend any time on holiday in Luxor without a trip to the Valley of the Kings, and we went there on the 4th day of the Luxor part of our trip. This was one of the advertised highlights of the tour as we had special access to one of the tombs that isn’t generally open to the public (that of Seti I). We got to the valley around 6:30am and then had it pretty much to ourselves for a few hours. We had the standard “see three tombs” ticket, plus J & I bought an extra ticket to see the tomb of Ramesses V & VI. We didn’t go for Tutankhamun’s tomb as well – we’d seen it last time and didn’t think we’d have time to fit it in before going to the Seti I tomb. Originally there had been planned to be two trips to… Read More »Egypt Holiday 2014: Valley of the Kings

Egypt Holiday 2014: The Ramesseum

Colossal Statue at the Ramesseum I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert…Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed: And on the pedestal these words appear: ‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’ Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.                                                      Percy Bysshe Shelley We got to the Ramesseum a little before sunset and there was something about the quality of the light and the shapes of what’s left of the temple that meant I could… Read More »Egypt Holiday 2014: The Ramesseum

“Horemheb” Charlotte Booth (EEG Meeting Talk)

At the beginning of July Charlotte Booth came to talk to us at the Essex Egyptology Group – she’s actually the founder of the group, although she hadn’t visited in the last few years (not since I’ve been in the group) as she’d moved away from the area. She talked to us about the Pharaoh Horemheb, who is often presented as a sort of afterthought to the 18th Dynasty. Booth’s talk set out to show us that he is interesting in his own right, and is better thought of as the founder of the 19th Dynasty. Horemheb was almost certainly born in Amenhotep III’s reign. Booth explained that we can make an estimate of his year of birth by working backwards from what is known of his career. His status at the beginning of Tutankhamun’s reign indicates that he must’ve been a mature adult at that point – perhaps around… Read More »“Horemheb” Charlotte Booth (EEG Meeting Talk)