Lecture Series - Tutankhamun: Egypt Rising from the Sands

September 28, 2022

If you are unable to attend the live session, do not worry - all those who register will automatically be sent copies of the lecture to view in your own time (from around four hours after it takes place).

Gillian Hovell, ‘The Muddy Archaeologist’, celebrates the centenary of Howard Carter’s dramatic discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in November 2023.  This webinar series of three lectures will thrill to the discovery in the context of its time, look closely at the finds from the tomb to reveal Tutankhamun’s continuing role in the enduring Egyptian cultural heritage.  We reach beyond to meet the World of Tutankhamun from over 3,000 years ago and the many diverse civilizations who rubbed shoulders with the Egyptians of his time. And we explore how we engaged with Carter’s great discovery and the world of Tutankhamun then and now. 

Tutankhamun: Egypt Rising from the Sand

On the 23rd November 1922, Howard Carter broke through the blocked doorway and entered the tomb of the young Pharaoh, Tutankhamun, who had been buried in c.1,327 BC, over 4,000 years ago.  It was the first intact royal Egyptian tomb ever found by archaeologists and it dramatically changed our understanding of and attitude towards Ancient Egypt.

Since the fervour for Ancient Egypt gripped the world, the next 100 years have revealed much about this astonishing, 3,000-year-long unique culture.  However, the New Kingdom time of Tutankhamun remains a golden age that still fascinates and invites closer inspection even today.  It is likely that you or your friends have seen exhibitions of Tutankhamun, maybe even his tomb, or may be visiting the British Museum’s Hieroglyphs: unlocking ancient Egypt exhibition this winter.  Learn from Gillian how to see the items afresh and to grasp the history and story in a new great narrative.

Lecture 1: Thursday 3 November 2022:  Discovery

Ancient Egypt, buried in the sands, had largely vanished from view and wasn’t even on the Grand Tour of elite young Europeans in the 18th century. By the early 1900s, Carter’s years of searching in the Tomb of the Kings was swept along in the wake of a gripping tale of exploration and international competitiveness which had really begun with the scientists who accompanied Napoleon’s campaigns to Egypt.   

The breath-taking story of the discovery was recorded in Carter’s own words in his diaries and correspondence, in the new media of newspapers across the world, and in the magnificently composed images taken by British photographer Harry Burton.  The world held its breath in the weeks, months and even years that followed as the unimaginably stunning finds were gradually revealed.  It would be three years before the sarcophagus would be opened to reveal the now world-famous mask of the young king.  Even now, 100 years later, new scientific methods continue to cast fresh light on Tutankhamun’s life and death.

Lecture 2: Friday 4 November 2022:   Inheritance

The thousands of beautiful and perfectly crafted items, piled into the hastily-equipped tomb, serve to tell archaeologists the story of the impact of Egypt’s past and her enduring unique society and beliefs.  For Tutankhamun’s cultural inheritance, even from the earliest days of Egypt (some 1,700 years before) is loud and clear, once you know where to look. 

After his father, Akhenaton’s heretical removal of the ancient gods and religion, the boy-king had begun to re-install the old ways, ‘the right way’.  As we take a closer look at the ‘wonderful things’ buried with Tutankhamun, we can see how he was a product of his time and of a rich and uniquely abiding culture.  They also reveal how Egypt collided with the many thriving civilizations of the Eastern Mediterranean in trade and in war, and was inevitably influenced by them, even as she influenced those cultures too.

Lecture 3: Friday 11 November 2022:     Legacy

How Egypt developed after Tutankhamun’s rule is the story of how Tutankhamun’s tomb was lost, even as Egyptian culture was admired, and its land coveted by cultures far and wide.  Other cultures crowded in, until the Romans overwhelmed them all.

Thanks to Carter’s discovery, Tutankhamun and his Ancient Egypt had a huge impact on 20th century art and ideas.  Just how do the discovery and its finds continue to fascinate us today?

 Gillian Hovell 344x395   Gillian, professionally known as 'The Muddy Archaeologist', is an Author, Ancient Historian, Archaeologist and Latin expert. Having personally excavated on sites ranging from Pompei and Hadrian's Wall from the Roman period to prehistoric sites across the UK, Gillian is now using her expertise to communicate ancient history to a wider audience not only on tours - including CICERONI's travels - but in online courses, lectures and courses in person (nationally and internationally) and in the media.

Please go to www.muddyarchaeologist.co.uk to find more details.


Format for Lecture

Gillian will give three one-hour illustrated lectures for £35. 

You will not need to download any software and the lecture will work in any browser. For the best experience use a desktop or laptop - but it will also work on an iPad or similar tablet. You will be also able to re-watch or watch a recording after the lecture.

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