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 2019
18th January 2019
Ancient Egyptian Astronomy
28 October – 4 November 2019
Course Director: Dr Bernadette Brady
This was an exciting new course taught in Luxor by well known cultural astronomer, Dr Bernadette Brady, with daily lectures and related visits to fascinating ancient sites, including 3 ‘special openings’ of sites usually closed to visitors, and a visit to the tomb of Seti I which is on a special ticket.
What made this course special?
- A series of ten lectures given by Dr Bernadette Brady, a popular Cultural Astronomer based at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, who specialises in the astronomy of Ancient Egypt.
- A carefully-considered programme of site visits in and around Luxor to complement the lectures.
- Busy, exciting days with time to relax at our wonderfully-located 5* hotel in Luxor.
- Plenty of opportunity to socialise with Bernadette Brady and fellow participants.
- Course Coordination by BSS Co-Director Lucia Gahlin, who accompanied the group throughout. Tour Coordination in Egypt by Galal Alsenusy who has arranged all our BSS in Egypt courses to date.
BSS group at the entrance to Senenmut’s tomb (usually closed to visitors). A highlight of this year’s BSS in Egypt was Bernadette Brady’s explanation of the astronomical ceiling in this tomb.
Studying the astronomical ceiling in the Ramesseum.
One of Bernadette Brady’s ten fascinating lectures.
A hungry business studying hard: a refreshments break between lectures.
Bernadette Brady points out features of the astronomical ceiling in the tomb of Ramesses VI.
Bernadette Brady and our guide Amr El Sharqawy discuss the finer intricacies of the zodiac ceiling at Dendera.
BSS group at Dendera, the finale of a wonderful week of site visits.
A week during which we spent a lot of time looking up!
Combining lectures in the historic Winter Palace Hotel and relevant site visits in and near Luxor, we brought you our first ever course on Ancient Egyptian Astronomy. Bloomsbury Summer School has a long-held reputation for providing popular short courses at UCL in London, and for the past ten years at different locations in Egypt. The Ancient Egyptians were keen sky observers and mythologised naked-eye astronomy, using it to inform their stellar theology, and provide them with the tools for precision geometry. This exciting new course explored the Ancient Egyptian blend of sky theology, mythology, stars and planets.
Popular cultural astronomer, Dr Bernadette Brady, course director for this year’s BSS in Egypt.
Bernadette Brady is a Cultural Astronomer with a PhD in Anthropology. She is a tutor for the MA in Cultural Astronomy at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. Her research interests include naked eye astronomy; the role of the sky within cultures (from ancient to modern); cosmologies and archaeoastronomy, including Celtic cosmologies, Egyptian astronomy, and Egyptian stellar theology.
Fly from Heathrow to Luxor. Check in to the 5* Winter Palace Garden Pavilion for 7 nights.
Visit Karnak Temples of Amun, Khonsu and Mut, and Karnak Open Air Museum.
Session 1: The Role of Ancient Egyptian Astronomy: the stars, planets and the sun in shaping the Ancient Egyptian view of the divine.
Visit Luxor Museum and Esna Temple.
Group Packed Lunch.
Session 2: The Sun, Ra: Fifth Dynasty solar temples, obelisks and the solar disk of Akhenaten.
Session 3: Middle Kingdom and Time: Counting the Days and Counting the Hours.
Visit Amenhotep III Temple Conservation Project, Kom el-Hettan [special opening], the Ramesseum, Tomb of Nakht, ‘Astronomer of Amun’ (TT52)
Session 4: The New Kingdom: the astronomical ceiling of Senenmut.
Session 5: The New Kingdom and a Different View of the Sky and the Divine: the sacred Books of the Sky.
Visit Hatshepsut’s Temple and the Tomb of Senenmut (TT353) [special opening], both at Deir el-Bahri, Tomb of Montuemhat (TT34) [special opening].
Session 6: The Astronomical Ceiling of Seti I and its Context within the Iconography of the Sacred Sky Books.
Session 7: The Ramesside Star Clocks and their Association with the Senenmut Ceiling
Visit Valley of the Kings: Tomb of Seti I (KV17) [special ticket], and as many of these tombs as are open on the day:
Tausret & Sethnakht (KV14), Ramesses III (KV11),
Ramesses IV (KV2), Ramesses VI (KV9), Ramesses VII (KV1)
and Ramesses IX (KV6).
Session 8: The Clash of Sky Views: Greek zodiac thinking with the Egyptian sacred sky.
Session 9: The Dendera Zodiacs.
Visit Dendera Temple.
Group Packed Lunch.
Session 10: The Legacy of Ancient Egyptian Astronomy to the Modern World.
Fly from Luxor to Heathrow.