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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 2019

18th january 2019

Ancient Egyptian Astronomy

Astronomical ceiling in Seti I’s tomb

A detail of the astronomical ceiling in Seti I’s tomb, rarely-visited but included on this itinerary.

28 October – 4 November 2019

Course Director: Dr Bernadette Brady

A 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 makes this course special

Dr Bernadette Brady

Popular cultural astronomer, Dr Bernadette Brady, course director for this year’s BSS in Egypt.

Course description

Combining lectures in the historic Winter Palace Hotel and relevant site visits in and near Luxor, we bring 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 will explore the Ancient Egyptian blend of sky theology, mythology, stars and planets.


Course programme

Day 1
Fly from Heathrow to Luxor. Check in to the 5* Winter Palace Garden Pavilion for 7 nights.

Day 2
Visit Karnak Temples of Amun, Khonsu and Mut, and Karnak Open Air Museum.
Group Lunch.
Session 1: The Role of Ancient Egyptian Astronomy: the stars, planets and the sun in shaping the Ancient Egyptian view of the divine.
Welcome Dinner.

Day 3
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.

Day 4
Visit Amenhotep III Temple Conservation Project, Kom el-Hettan [special opening], the Ramesseum, Tomb of Nakht, ‘Astronomer of Amun’ (TT52)
Group Lunch.
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.

Day 5
Visit Hatshepsut’s Temple and the Tomb of Senenmut (TT353) [special opening], both at Deir el-Bahri, Tomb of Montuemhat (TT34) [special opening].
Group Lunch.
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

Day 6
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).
Group lunch.
Session 8: The Clash of Sky Views: Greek zodiac thinking with the Egyptian sacred sky.
Session 9: The Dendera Zodiacs.

Day 7
Visit Dendera Temple.
Group Packed Lunch.
Session 10: The Legacy of Ancient Egyptian Astronomy to the Modern World.              
Farewell Dinner.

Day 8
Fly from Luxor to Heathrow.


BSS in Egypt 2019 – Course fee

Course fee: £3340 (Single Supplement: £200). To secure your place, please send us a deposit of £500 (non-returnable unless the tour is cancelled by Egypt Archaeological Tours due to circumstances beyond their control).

The price of this BSS in Egypt course includes international flights from Heathrow with EgyptAir in economy class; all transport in Egypt; 5* accommodation (with breakfasts); all lectures and guided tours; entrance to all sites; 3 special openings of sites usually closed to visitors; 2 group dinners, 6 group lunches (2 of which will be packed lunches); refreshments between lectures; water on bus and with included meals; services of an Egyptian tour guide; tipping including drivers (except guide).

The price of this BSS in Egypt course DOES NOT include: travel insurance (essential); Egyptian visa (obtainable on arrival in Egypt for £20); meals and drinks other than those mentioned in itinerary; tip for local Egyptian guide.


How to book

Please send us your completed booking form, together with a deposit of £500 per person (non-returnable unless the tour is cancelled by Egypt Archaeological Tours due to circumstances beyond their control). Cheques made payable to Egypt Archaeological Tours Ltd. Post to Lucia Gahlin, Bloomsbury Summer School, c/o Dept. of History, UCL, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT.

Or you can email us your booking form, and pay your deposit by bank transfer. For bank details please contact Lucia:
Call: 020 7679 3622

PDF iconDownload a booking form




Should you need to cancel your booking the following charges will apply:
More than 60 days notice: deposit only
60 – 42 days: 30% of final invoice
41 – 28 days: 50% of final invoice
27 – 7 days: 75% of final invoice
1 – 7 days and date of departure or later: 100% of final invoice.
Should Egypt Archaeological Tours need to cancel your booking, all monies paid by you will be returned to you.


Please note

All participants must take out suitable travel insurance.
Participants must not travel against medical advice.
Steps and slopes on archaeological sites in Egypt can be steep, uneven and unstable, as can access to local boats for crossing the Nile. This tour is designed for people in good health with good mobility.

Egypt Archaeological Tours Ltd. reserves the right to alter the itinerary or hotels to a similar grade, if circumstances dictate. Their holidays are ATOL protected (No. 10944).