Bloomsbury Summer School
Fascinated by ancient civilisations?
We offer anyone with any level of knowledge, inspiring short courses on ancient Egypt and other areas of the ancient world.
BSS in Egypt 2010
“This is how one lives at Thebes!” The life and works of the Theban royal tomb makers
Course Director: John Romer
10 – 17 November 2010
John Romer is a renowned expert on Deir el-Medina and the Valley of the Kings, with over 40 years experience working in Luxor and this was a unique opportunity to hear this entertaining and knowledgeable Egyptologist give a week of lectures in the heart of Luxor. The Course Coordinator, accompanying the group throughout was Lucia Gahlin, BSS Deputy Director and Egyptologist.
The extraordinary achievement of the royal tombs of Thebes cannot be fully appreciated without an understanding of the environment in which they were made. John Romer and the group re-explored the world of the Theban New Kingdom considering how and why the first royal tombs were made at Thebes, and how the tomb makers who lived at Deir el Medina elaborated that tradition to create the great tombs of the Valley of the Kings. We also explored the purposes and meanings of these tombs – and something also, of the lives and times of the archaeologists and Egyptologists who have shaped our present understanding of them. Finally, in the light of fresh and, as yet, largely unpublished evidence, John outlined a new history of the ending of the Valley of the Kings and of the remarkable community of those who worked there.
Arriving at a deserted Karnak Temple at sunrise
(Photo by E. Lindop)
Hani Al Bagoury delights us with his poetic guiding at Karnak Temple
John Romer shares his insights at Medinet Habu
(Photo by B. Burnett)
Our wonderful team: Hani Al Bagoury, Galal Alsinusy and John Romer
John takes us to Deir el-Medina
John brings Deir el-Medina to life for us
Exploring a sea of pottery by the ‘great pit’ at Deir el-Medina
Outside the tomb of Pashedu
Galal leads the way up the mountain from Deir el-Medina (Photo: E Lindop)
Gathering on the ridge
John points out the sites of the west bank
Walking along the ridge
Descending into the Valley of the Kings (Photo: E Lindop).
Lunch at Africa restaurant, west bank. (Photo: E Lindop)
Lunch at Ramesses Café, Medinet Habu. (Photo: E Lindop)
Lunch at Nur el-Qurna restaurant, Kom el-Hetan
Scarf shopping after lunch
Our lecture room in the Sonesta St. George
Tea break between lectures
Cakes and view over the Nile
Farewell gala dinner at Sofra
Group photo at Medinet Habu
About the Course Director
John Romer has lived and worked in Luxor over forty years, serving on American and German expeditions and acting as Field Director of The Brooklyn Museum Theban Expedition, which conducted the first physical survey and conservation studies in the Valley of the Kings and the clearance and epigraphic study of the tomb of Ramesses XI. John has also dedicated a great part of his time to archaeological conservation and, as an aid to raising public awareness of the importance and fragility of the past, has made many TV and radio documentaries. Besides numerous scholarly articles and reports, his books have included The Valley of the Kings, Ancient Lives and The Great Pyramid.
Assmann, J. (2001) The Search for God in Ancient Egypt. Cornell University Press.
Hornung, E. (1999) Ancient Egyptian Books of the Afterlife. Cornell University Press.
Kemp, B.J. (2005) Ancient Egypt; anatomy of a civilisation. Routledge.
McDowell, A.G. (1999) Village Life in Ancient Egypt. Clarendon Press.
Nims, C. (1965) Thebes of the Pharaohs. Elek (Paul) (Scientific Books) Ltd.
Piankoff, A. (1954) The Tomb of Ramesses VI. Pantheon Books.
Wente, E.F. (1990) Letters from Ancient Egypt. Scholars Press.
Morning flight from Gatwick to Luxor. Check in to a 5* hotel for 7 nights
Visit Luxor Temple, Sheikh Abu el-Haggag mosque & Luxor Museum
Lecture: ‘Just Like Us?’ Jaroslav Cerny and the History of Deir el Medina
Visit Karnak Temple & Mummification Museum
Lecture: Deir el Medina and the Valley of the Kings in the Ancient Theban Landscape
Lecture: Making Royal Tombs, from the Middle Kingdom to Tutankhamen
Visit Valley of the Kings, including the tombs of Seti I (we have applied for a Special Opening from the SCA),
Ramesses VI and Ay,and Sanctuary of Ptah & Mertseger
Lecture: Howard Carter and the topography of the Valley of the Kings
Lecture: Why all the Gold? The Order and Purposes of XVIII Dynasty Royal Burials
Visit Deir el-Medina and Medinet Habu
Lecture: Foreman and Scribes in the Royal Valley from Horemheb to Ramesses III
Lecture: What Underworld? Redesigning the Royal Tomb in the XIX – XX Dynasty
Visit Deir el-Bahri, Seti I’s ‘Qurna Temple’ & Carter House
Lecture: The Great Ramesside Tombs & their Robbers
Lecture: Djutmose & Butehamun in Medinet Habu, Karnak, Nubia and in the Southern Theban Valleys
Visit the Tombs of Ramose, Userhet & Khaemhet, the Ramesseum & Merenptah’s Temple
Lecture: The Excavation of the tomb of Ramesses XI and the Ending of the Valley of the Kings and the Re-burial of the Royal Mummies
Morning & early afternoon at leisure. Early evening flight, arriving into Gatwick at 22:05.