Trip

EEG Trip to the Ashmolean Museum

In November a small group of us from the Essex Egyptology Group visited the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford to be given a tour of the Early Egypt Gallery focusing on the Hierakonpolis Ivories by the curator Liam McNamara. When we got there we were a bit disconcerted to see that that gallery was actually closed for essential maintenance! The Ashmolean is installing a temporary entrance into the gallery so that the revolving door at the main entrance to the museum can be replaced. This actually worked out pretty well for us, as we had that gallery all to ourselves for our tour apart from a few workmen. A small gallery of my photos from our tour is on flickr, click here to see them. McNamara began by introducing the Main Deposit at Hierakonpolis. This was discovered in the late 19th Century by the archaeologists James Quibell and Frederick Green at… Read More »EEG Trip to the Ashmolean Museum

Petrie Museum Friends in Egypt Tour 2016

In early October members of the Petrie Museum Friends (and others) went on a trip to Egypt organised and led by Lucia Gahlin which visited several less visited sites as well as some very thorough looks at more well known places. There were thirteen of us on the tour, and we were accompanied by Lucia, Youssef Ramsis (our guide) and Galal Alsenusy (from Egypt Archaeological Tours which was the company the tour was organised through). The holiday was in two parts, firstly based around Cairo and then travelling south to Middle Egypt where we stayed at the New Hermopolis retreat. Each day Youssef would start his introductory remarks with “and today is the highlight of our tour!”, which was both entertaining and true – it was very much a selection of cool and interesting places to see. Lucia had also arranged talks from several guest speakers – as well herself… Read More »Petrie Museum Friends in Egypt Tour 2016

Egypt Holiday 2014: el Tod

The last site we visited in Egypt last November was a temple dedicated to Montu, which is in the modern village of el Tod. I don’t think it gets many tourists – our bus had a bit of trouble getting through the winding streets of the village and we had to walk the last little bit. My main memory of the place is that it was very peaceful, despite being in the middle of the village. There were palm trees throughout the site and it was a little oasis of calm. Even the guardians here were pretty laid back! My photos from this site are on flickr: click here for the full set, or on any photo in this post for the larger version on flickr. When you go into the site the first thing you come to is a block storage area with loose bits of the temple that… Read More »Egypt Holiday 2014: el Tod

Egypt Holiday 2014: Sites at el Kab

El Kab is a couple of hours drive south of Luxor and was the furthest south we went on this trip. There are several different Ancient Egyptian sites at or near el Kab, and we visited four of them, covering a sweep of history from predynastic (and perhaps before) through to the Ptolemaic era. The site is pretty big – we were driven through it to visit the various bits and it didn’t feel silly getting back on the coach rather than walking. This is also the area of Egypt where the predynastic sites of Nekheb and Nekhen are; Renee Friedman gave a talk to the EEG about Nekhen last November just before we went on holiday. I think we saw the enclosure wall for Nekheb, but nothing inside. My photos for this site are, as usual, on flickr – click here for the full set or on any photo… Read More »Egypt Holiday 2014: Sites at el Kab

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

Egypt Holiday 2014: Medinet Habu

The temple at Medinet Habu is one of the best preserved temples in Egypt. It was Ramesses III’s memorial temple, known in Ancient Egypt as the Mansion of Millions of Years of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt User-Ma’at-Ra-Mery-Amun in the Estate of Amun on the West of Thebes. And typing out a name like that always makes me wonder if it was significantly shorter in Ancient Egyptian or if they had shorter names to refer to the temples by! The design of this temple is quite similar to the other mortuary temples we visited earlier in the trip – those of Seti I and Ramesses II. Possibly a standard design, although Kent Weeks in his Luxor guidebook ascribes it to being another instance of Ramesses III emulating Ramesses II (along with naming his sons the same things as Ramesses II named his and so on). My photos from… Read More »Egypt Holiday 2014: Medinet Habu

Egypt Holiday 2014: Deir el Medina

View across the Village at Deir el Medina The ancient Egyptian village at Deir el Medina was the home of the people who worked on the tombs of the Pharaohs in the Valley of the Kings. The families who lived there were relatively high status (for common people) as they were skilled craftsmen. They were also kept isolated from the general population because they knew where tombs were and the materials they worked with were also valuable. The village also had a high literacy level, and so a lot is known about their lives from the discarded ostraca (bits & pieces of pottery & limestone) that they used to write notes. My photos from this site are up on flickr, as always, click here for the full set, and on any photo in the post for the larger version on flickr. Flickr have changed the way their embed links work… Read More »Egypt Holiday 2014: Deir el Medina

Egypt Holiday 2014: Valley of the Queens

The top billed trip out of the whole of our Egypt holiday’s itinerary was the visit to Nefertari’s tomb in the Valley of the Queens. As with Seti I’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings (post) this tomb is not generally open to the public. Although clearly they do open it often enough to make it worth their while designing and printing tickets for it! I don’t think I’ve mentioned the tickets for sites in Egypt in my blog posts yet – they’re generally rather well done and souvenirs in their own right, and the Nefertari tomb one was no exception. Originally we weren’t visiting any of the other tombs in the Valley, but at the last minute Medhat changed some things around on the itinerary so that we could. Which was cool, because I’d not had the chance to see them before. As with the Valley of the… Read More »Egypt Holiday 2014: Valley of the Queens

Egypt Holiday 2014: Mortuary Temple of Seti I

Mortuary Temple of Seti I Seti I’s Mortuary Temple (called The Domain of Amen in the West of Thebes by the Egyptians) was the second of the 19th and 20th Dynasty mortuary temples that we visited – and seeing all three so close together (one a day) brought home the similarities in design that I otherwise wouldn’t’ve noticed. My photos from this site are up on flickr, click here for the full set or on any picture (except the temple plan) for that photo’s page on flickr. Partial Plan of Mortuary Temple of Seti I (from Wikimedia, uploaded by Zanaq). The plan above was the best (public domain) plan I could find for the temple – but it’s only a partial plan. North is to the top right corner of the image. To the south east (bottom of the image) the plan is truncated at the Second Pylon, the remains… Read More »Egypt Holiday 2014: Mortuary Temple of Seti I

Egypt Holiday: Colossi of Memnon

Colossi of Memnon The Colossi of Memnon are, for me, the most underwhelming site we visited in Egypt. The only bits you get a proper look at on the site are the two statues in a rather sad state, but admittedly huge. The first time we visited there in 2009 the rest of the site didn’t impinge on my consciousness at all, and this time it was only visible in tantalising glimpses of other reconstructed colossal statues. My photos from this site are on flickr here. View between the Colossi to the rest of the site This was once the vast mortuary temple of Amenhotep III, built mostly of mudbrick and within the area flooded by the annual inundation. Once his cult was abandoned and repair works ended the temple dissolved, and what stone there had been in the walls was taken by later Pharaohs to use in their own… Read More »Egypt Holiday: Colossi of Memnon