Bloomsbury Summer School (text)

Bloomsbury Summer School

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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 2016

22nd November 2016

Nubia: a journey through a drowned land

Course Director: Dr Robert Morkot

4 – 12 November 2016

A NEW course taught in Aswan and on a Lake Nasser cruise by one of THE experts on Nubia, with daily lectures and exploration of relevant ancient sites.

A series of ten lectures on the complex relationship between Egypt and Nubia in ancient times, and on the writings by travellers to Nubia up until the 20th Century. Teaching by Dr Robert Morkot, a respected Egyptologist, Senior Lecturer at the University of Exeter, expert on Nubia, and author of The Black Pharaohs, Egypt's Nubian Rulers and Nubia: a journey through a drowned land (forthcoming).


Course description

Combining lectures and site visits in Aswan and on the shores of Lake Nasser, we bring you a vivid exploration of the complex relationship between Egypt and Nubia throughout ancient times, but particularly during the New Kingdom and Ptolemaic-Roman periods. We will find that the Nubian temples reveal much about the development of Egyptian theology during the New Kingdom, as well as the changing political situation and Egyptian imperialism. This course will consider the importance of Nubia to Egypt, and the influence of Egypt on Nubia. This will be the first time BSS has included a cruise on Lake Nasser in a ‘BSS in Egypt’ course. We will consider what Nubia – both ancient and pre-High Dam – looked like. Fortunately we have many travel narratives, extending from the straightforward observations of John Lewis Burckhardt to the purple prose of Amelia Edwards. These narratives are supplemented by the numerous graffiti left by travellers – again spanning ancient and modern worlds: we can see the Greek inscriptions on the colossi of Abu Simbel from the time of Psamtik II's campaign (593 BC), and the graffiti of 19th century scholars and tourists, and the military expeditions to the 'Soodan'. This course will draw together a wide range of sources to create a picture of Nubia, ancient and more modern.


Course programme

Day 1
Fly from Heathrow to Aswan via Cairo. Check in to 5* Movenpick Hotel for 3 nights

Day 2
Visit the Nubian Museum; the Old and Middle Kingdom tombs of the nobles at Qubbet el-Hawa
Group Lunch
Lecture 1: Introduction: A Drowned Land
Welcome Dinner

Day 3
Visit the multi-period, ancient temple and town remains on Elephantine Island
; the inscriptions (including the ‘Famine Stela’) on Sehel Island
Group Lunch
Lecture 2: On the Edge of Empire - Isis and her Cult
Lecture 3: Egypt in Nubia

Day 4
Visit the ‘Unfinished Obelisk’ in the ancient granite quarry; the Ptolemaic-Roman Philae temple
Packed Lunch
Check in to the 5* M/S Prince Abbas (Movenpick’s Lake Nasser cruise boat) for 4 nights (full board)
Lecture 4: Travellers in a Drowned Land

Day 5
Visit the temples relocated on New Kalabsha Island, including Kalabsha, Beit el-Wali, remains of Gerf Hussein & the Kertassi Kiosque
Lecture 5: Ruling Nubia
Lecture 6: Meroe in Nubia

Day 6
Visit the temples of Wadi el-Sebua; Dakka; Maharraqa; Amada; Derr; the tomb of Penou
Lecture 7: Ballana and Qustul
Lecture 8: Egyptian Towns and Temples in Nubia

Day 7
Visit the temples of Ramesses II at Abu Simbel
Lecture 9: The King as God in Nubia

Day 8
Drive from Abu Simbel to Aswan
Packed lunch
Check in to 5* Movenpick Hotel for 1 night
Free afternoon (optional bird-watching excursion, or return visit to Nubian Museum recommended)
Lecture 10: Graffiti, Graffiti
Farewell Dinner

Day 9
Fly from Aswan via Cairo to Heathrow.


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