Kemet Klub

Exploring the Pyramids of Ancient Egypt


Professor Aidan Dodson
6  Weeks. Monday 21st August –  25th September 2023

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Exploring the Pyramids of Ancient Egypt

6x Monday Evenings 21st August - 25th September
Times: 7.30-9pm (UK Times) to join live

We love to see you for the live lectures, but if you have to miss one, don't worry, you can of course catch up (or watch again) at your leisure via the recordings. You will have access to the recorded lectures for a whole month after the last live lecture. Recordings will be available until 25th October.



Over six weeks, we will be exploring the history of one of the most iconic groups of monuments of all time: Egypt’s pyramids. We will begin with looking at the royal tombs that preceded the adoption of the pyramid as the preferred form of royal funerary monument, and then trace its history down to its last use as a royal tomb in Egypt, at the beginning of the New Kingdom. Finally, we will take a brief look at the subsequent embrace of the pyramid by private individuals, and its revival by the kings of Kush during their century of rule over Egypt, and its continued use in Sudan until the 4th century AD.


The pyramid is a dramatic marker on the ancient landscape and represents not only a King’s aspirations for an afterlife but also his ability to control the people and resources necessary to carry through such a monumental project. In many ways the pyramid is just the tip of the iceberg,  as they were sometimes just as impressive inside as out, with  complex indeed sometimes labyrinthine substructures.   In this course we will consider the pyramid and its associated buildings as a whole, to consider how these monuments were expected to function as magical machines to achieve the king’s immortality.  Working on state projects of this scale also brought about the creation of dedicated settlements,  the infrastructure necessary to support a vast workforce, and the ability to source raw materials from throughout the country.  


In this course we will be engaging with  sites throughout the Nile valley,  from the most famous pyramid sites of Giza and Saqqara in the north, through to the lesser-known southern pyramids of the Kushite kings at Nuri and Meroe. 

Professor Aidan Dodson

Aidan Dodson has taught at Bristol University since 1996, and was appointed honorary Professor of Egyptology in 2018. A graduate of Liverpool & Cambridge Universities, and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, Aidan was Simpson Professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo for spring 2013, and was Chair of Trustees of the Egypt Exploration Society from 2011 to 2016. He is the Chairman of the Egypt Society of Bristol and the author of more than 25 books and 400 articles and reviews on both Egyptology and modern naval history. His latest Egyptological book is The Nubian Pharaohs: their Lives and afterlives, due to be published by the American University in Cairo Press in October of this year.

Booking instructions

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Session links will be available in the course Classroom. Room opens 30 minutes before the lecture begins. If you do not have the course link or have any other queries please get in touch

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