October 2015

Egypt Holiday 2014: Deir el Bahri

Hatshepsut’s Memorial Temple at Deir el Bahri is one of the sites everyone goes to on the West Bank at Luxor. Rightly so, as it’s a very impressive temple (although I perhaps don’t rate it as highly as Kent Weeks does in his Luxor guidebook which waxes lyrical about it being the most beautiful temple). It’s also unusual in immediate appearance, as it’s very cleverly designed to look from a distance as if it’s organically formed within the cliff face. The thought that stops me categorising it as “most beautiful” is that from a distance it also is reminiscent of fascist architectural style. When initially discovered by Westerners it was in a very ruined state, with a Coptic monastery built in & on the top level of the temple from which the site takes its name. As part of the restoration and excavation of the temple this monastery was removed… Read More »Egypt Holiday 2014: Deir el Bahri

“Understanding Egypt: Language, Layers and Meaning in the Nile Valley” Carl Graves (EEG Meeting Talk)

On 4th October Carl Graves came to talk to us at the Essex Egyptology Group about the work he’s doing for his PhD on the landscape of the Nile Valley as interacted with & perceived by the ancient Egyptians. The concept of “landscape” is a technical term in geography, and so Graves spent the first half of his talk explaining this concept and its theoretical underpinnings so that they made sense to us, before moving on to talk about ancient Egypt. He began by getting us all to stand up and look around the room and to think about the space we were in: had we been there before (most of us had), who the people were that we knew in the room, had anyone been there for other non-EEG events and so on. These memories and meanings that we attach to somewhere are what turns it from a space… Read More »“Understanding Egypt: Language, Layers and Meaning in the Nile Valley” Carl Graves (EEG Meeting Talk)