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 2013

12th February 2013

A History of Thebes

Course Director: John Romer

28 January – 5 February 2013

Following the sell-out success of Stephen Harvey’s BSS in Egypt 2012 course, we bring you a NEW course taught mostly in Giza with daily lectures and exploration of relevant ancient sites.


Course Description

This course will trace the history of Thebes from its prehistoric beginnings, though the remarkable periods of Egypt’s pharaonic history – the Old, Middle and New Kingdoms – and on through the fascinating Third Intermediate Period, culminating in the Classical, Christian and Islamic Periods.



About the Course Director

This course has been designed and will be taught by John Romer, former Field Director of The Brooklyn Museum Theban Expedition, which conducted the first physical survey and conservation studies in the Valley of the Kings. John has 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. His books include The Valley of the Kings, Ancient Lives, The Great Pyramid and most recently, A History of Ancient Egypt: from the first farmers to the Great Pyramid.


Suggested Reading

Assmann, J. (2001) The Search for God in Ancient Egypt. New York: Ithaca
Assmann, J. (2002) The Mind of Egypt. New York
Blyth, E. (2006) Karnak, Evolution of a Temple. London
Barguet, P. (1962) Le Temple D'Amon Rê á Karnak. Cairo
Donadoni, S. (1999) Tebe. Milan
Kemp, B.J. (1989 (1st ed.), 2006 (2nd ed.) Ancient Egypt, anatomy of a civilisation. London
Nims, C.F. (1965) Thebes of the Pharaohs. London
Shafer, B.E. (ed.) (1997) Temples of Ancient Egypt. New York: Ithaca
Strudwick, N. & Taylor, H.J. (eds.) (2003) The Theban Necropolis, past, present and future. London


Course programme

Day 1
Fly from Heathrow to Luxor. Check in to 5* hotel in Luxor for 8 nights

Day 2
Visit the temple of Montu at Medamud; Karnak Temple and Open Air Museum; Luxor Museum
Lecture: Beginnings. Thebes in Prehistory and as an Old Kingdom provincial centre. The high temple on the Theban Gebel and the origins of Amun of Karnak
Welcome Dinner

Day 3
John will point out features of the el-Tarif landscape (including the West Bank mastabas and el-Tarif saff tombs). Visit temples of Montuhotep and Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahri; tomb chapel of Antefoker/Senet [TT60]. Lunch included
Lecture: ‘The victorious king within Thebes’ Thebes and the surrounding regions in the early XVIII Dynasty
Lecture: Courtiers, palaces and festivals: Thebes in the reign of Amunhotep III

Day 4
View Amunhotep III’s temple (Kom el-Hittan) and the foundations of Amunhotep son of Hapu’s temple. Visit the Isis Temple at Deir el Shelwit and the site of Amunhotep III’s palace at Malqata; tomb chapels of Kheruef [TT192], Ankh-hor [TT414], Ramose [TT55], Userhet [TT56] and Khaemhet [TT57]. Lunch included. Visit Luxor Temple
Lecture: Archaeologists, conservators and architects. The re-creation – or the creation? – of ‘Imperial Thebes’
Lecture: The Poem of Pentaur. Militarism, theology and ritual as they appear within the Theban monuments

Day 5
Visit Valley of the Kings; Ramesseum; Deir el-Medina. Lunch included
Lecture: Feeding the machine. Papyrus Wilbour, the Estates of Amun and the breaking of New Kingdom Thebes
Lecture: High Priests and God’s Wives. Thebes in the Third Intermediate Period

Day 6
Visit tomb of Pabasa [TT279]; Medinet Habu; Valley of the Queens. Lunch included
Lecture: Recast and transformed. Classical, Christian and Islamic Thebes
Lecture: Edfu temple seen as an architectural and literary summation of Thebes’ ancient priestly culture

Day 7
Visit Edfu temple; el-Kab
Lecture: The Hundred-Gated City. Images of holy Thebes in Pharaonic and Classical culture and in later times

Day 8
Free day in Luxor
Farewell Dinner

Day 9
Fly from Luxor to Heathrow


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