Egyptian Archaeology on the Nile: A Multi-Part Journey with Dr. Jade Bajeot

Egyptian Archaeology on the Nile: A Multi-Part Journey with Dr. Jade Bajeot


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Have you always been fascinated by the archaeological riches of Egypt and the Nilotic landscapes in which the emerald green of the river and fertile fields are nestled in the desert? Join an Egyptologist on this four-part virtual Nile cruise, with each lecture devoted to different archaeological sites, from the most famous to those known only by archaeologists. We’ll travel from Cairo to Abu Simbel—literally from one end of Egypt to the other—and our stops will include Giza and Saqqara, Tell el-Amarna, Luxor, and Abu Simbel.

During the trip we will learn about various aspects of ancient Egyptian culture. We will explore several necropolis (Giza, Saqqara, and the Valley of the Kings); we will see the most important and beautiful temples including those of Luxor and Karnak, Philae, Dendera, and Abu Simbel; and we will meet the most famous queens and pharaohs that wrote the history of the country.

Led by an expert on Egyptology, Jade Bajeot—who herself has cruised the Nile and travels to Cairo and the Delta each year to participate in archaeological excavations—this journey will provide an overview of the most important Egyptian archaeological sites and understanding of the many aspects of ancient Egyptian civilization, from the Ancient Kingdom to the time of the Romans. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased knowledge of Egypt and its incredible historical legacy.

 

Lecture 1: Cairo: Giza, Saqqara and the Egyptian Museum

Our first stop is at Cairo’s most famous archaeological sites. We will explore Giza with the great pyramids of Khufu, Khafra and Menkaura and the less known tombs of the queen Hetep-heres, probably Khufu’s mother, and of the nobles that had the privilege to be buried close to the pyramids. At Saqqara we’ll see the complex of the Step pyramid, and Teti and Unas’ pyramids whose internal rooms are completely covered with magical texts aimed at guiding the pharaoh into the afterlife. Finally, we will address the topic of the new Grand Egyptian Museum under construction in Giza, which should replace in the near future the one in the city centre.

Lecture 2: Tell el-Amarna and Qena

The ancient name of Tell el-Amarna was Akhetaton and it was founded on virgin land by Akhenaton, one of the most famous and controversial pharaohs of the Egyptian history. During his rule he was the protagonist of a great religious and political revolution: he established that the only god to worship was Aton, the Sun. This led to a very serious clash with the priests of Luxor, and on the death of the pharaoh his name was cancelled, the city was abandoned and the traditional religion restored. We’ll visit the excavation of Akhetaton, outside of the tourist routes and still investigated by archaeologists. We will then move to Qena to walk through Dendera temple, one of the best preserved in Egypt, to meet Cleopatra and Mark Antony and talk about the Roman period and above all of the fascination exerted by the Egyptian culture on the Romans.

Lecture 3: Luxor

Luxor is densely packed with monuments as it was the capital for a long time. Here we will see the main highlights including the Valley of the Kings with its wonderful tombs such as Seti I and Tutankhamun’s; the temples of Karnak and Luxor, among the most important of the country and certainly the most powerful; and we will make a stop at the workers’ village of Deir el-Medina. This village was inhabited by the workers involved in the construction of the tombs of the pharaohs, and this site will allow us to have a sense of how daily life was at that time.

Lecture 4: Assuan and Abu Simbel

In our final lecture, we will talk about the dam built in Assuan in the 1960s and the incredible effort made by the Egyptian and the international scientific community under the patronage of UNESCO to save the countless archaeological sites which would have been submerged by the formation of the artificial Lake Nasser. Among these sites we will see the temple of Philae, the now disappeared fortress of Buhen—part of the pharaonic fortification system made of mudbricks that could not be saved—and the marvellous temple of Abu Simbel, built by one of the greatest pharaohs of Egypt: Ramses II. In particular, both the temple of Philae and Abu Simbel were dismantled piece by piece and reassembled in locations safe from the waters. Egypt, to thank the efforts of the various countries, has gifted them with monuments that we can see today in various museums around the world. Among these we have the temple of Dendur preserved in the Metropolitan Museum of New York.

Jade Bajeot has an MA in Egyptology, where her dissertation focus was on the ancient Egyptian fortification system. For her PhD in Archaeology she specialized in the prehistory of Egypt, in particular the unpublished data of the Italian excavations carried out in the predynastic site of Maadi (Cairo). During her PhD she spent six months in Cairo, at the French Institute of Archaeology (Ifao) where she had the opportunity to visit several archaeological sites. In 2014 she started to collaborate with the French mission that digs at Tell el-Iswid, a predynastic site located in the Nile Delta. She still works at Tell el-Iswid as a specialist in ceramic technology. She also had the opportunity to work at Tell el-Fara’in/Buto and Tell el-Samara (Nile Delta). She has published several papers on the subject and her PhD thesis has been published as a monograph. 

 

How does it work?

This is a four-part journey series held on consecutive days and hosted on Zoom. Please check the schedule for the specific dates and times for each lecture.

How long are the lectures?

Each lecture is 90 minutes long with time for Q&A. In the two-day intensive, each session is 3 hours, with 1-2 short pauses to break up the time as well as for interspersed Q&A.

How much is the journey?

$140 for four 90-minute or two three-hour lectures.

Is a recording available?

In general, our journeys are not recorded. However, if you need to miss a lecture please let us know in advance and we can arrange for a recording for that session on an individual basis.

This course is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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