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2x Sunday afternoons 2-5pm Sunday 30th April & 7th May
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Although most visitors enjoy the spectacular temples of Kings Seti I and Ramesses II, many aspects of the sacred site of Abydos are less well-known. Excavations in the past 50 years have completely altered how we view the importance and meaning of the site, with impact on every period of human activity from Paleolithic times to the 20th century archaeological work by earlier expeditions. This course will provide the insider view from one of the archaeologists associated with some of these discoveries, notably the monuments of Pharaoh Ahmose (ca. 1550-1525 BCE) and his wife Queen Ahmose-Nefertary. To set the stage for a full understanding of what happened at Abydos in the New Kingdom, of which Ahmose was the founding figure, we will review the earlier history of the site through the lens of extraordinary recent discoveries. These will include the royal tombs of Egypt’s earliest kings at ‘Umm el-Qa’ab, the Old Kingdom elite cemeteries including the lost tomb of Weni the Elder, the monuments of Senwosret III, the rediscovery of a lost “Abydos Dynasty” of kings dating to the Second Intermediate Period (ca. 1650-1600 BCE), and the evidence for posthumous cults of rulers at Abydos. We will take into account not just tombs and temples but the evidence for daily life recently revealed from excavation. Along the way we will visit many parts of the ancient site and discuss how they were conceptually linked together by lively festivals, processions, and rites.
Dr Stephen Harvey
Since 1993, Stephen Harvey has been Director of the Ahmose and Tetisheri Project, excavating of the pyramidal complex of King Ahmose at Abydos, southern Egypt. He received his Ph.D. in Egyptian Archaeology in 1998 from the University of Pennsylvania, and his B.A. in Archaeological Studies from Yale University in 1987. Harvey’s fieldwork in and around the pyramid complex of Ahmose (ca 1550-1525 BC) has resulted in major discoveries, including several previously undiscovered temples, the identification of the pyramid of Queen Tetisheri, and the analysis of thousands of fragments of the temples’ decorative program. In addition to extensive fieldwork at Abydos, Harvey has worked in Egypt at Giza and Memphis, as well as on archaeological projects in the United States, Syria (Tell es-Sweyhat), and Turkey (Gordion).
Harvey has held teaching and curatorial positions at a number of leading Egyptological institutions, he has been interviewed and consulted on numerous international documentaries. He has led over 25 tours to Egypt, Jordan and Sudan.
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