Kemet Klub

New Kingdom Saqqara


Dr Wolfram Grajetzki
6 Weeks. Monday 3rd July – 7th August 2023

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New Kingdom Saqqara

Live lectures Monday Evenings 3rd July- 7th August for 6 weeks.
7.30-9pm (UK Time).

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 7th September

Saqqara is best known for the pyramids and mastabas of the Old Kingdom. However, it was also a major burial ground in the New Kingdom. Saqqara was the cemetery of Memphis, the administrative centre of Egypt in most periods of Ancient Egyptian history. In the second half of the New Kingdom, Saqqara became the main necropolis for the highest state officials at the royal court. From the reign of Tutankhamun onward, large parts of the cemetery were covered with smaller and larger temple like tomb chapels, most of them decorated with reliefs, paintings, statues and stelae. For these tombs, the workshops of Memphis produced a high number of outstanding art works, including several unique categories of funerary statues and new coffin types.


The course will look into the discovery history of the New Kingdom remains at this iconic site. The tombs were for a long time mainly known from reliefs found in the 19th century, sold to museums all around the world and from many smaller objects including the golden tomb treasures of the general Djehuty. The actual chapels and tombs were only identified in more recent excavations. Famous examples include the chapel of the general Horemhab who later became king, the chapel of the overseer of the treasury Maya and the rock cut tomb of Maia, the wet nurse of Tutankhamun. These monuments will be presented alongside with lesser-known tombs of the ‘normal’ population of Memphis that are all too often neglected

Course overview:

Week 1. Early excavations (19th century); Saqqara before Tutankhamun

Week 2. Amarna Period and the reign of Tutankhamun

Week 3. Reign of Tutankhamun
Week 4. Lost tombs
Week 5. Saqqara under Rameses II
Week 6. Saqqara under Rameses II and beyond. 

Dr Wolfram Grajetzki has excavated at the site of Saqqara in the area surrounding the 5th Dynasty pyramid of Unas. The dig revealed a number of tombs dating to the New Kingdom. Join us for a set of six lectures exploring the burial practices of New Kingdom people at this already very scared site. 

Dr Wolfram Grajetzki

Wolfram Grajetzki is a Honorary Senior Research Fellow at University College London. He studied Egyptology, Prehistory and Classical archaeology in Berlin with his PhD on the highest state officials in the Middle Kingdom (1998). He worked on several projects, including excavations in Egypt and Pakistan and was teaching Egyptology in Berlin, London and Pisa, He published several scholarly and popular articles and books on burial customs and the Middle Kingdom.

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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