In the Age of the Pyramids: Egypt during the Old Kingdom with Lucia Gahlin

Following directly on from Lucia Gahlin’s previous course ‘Macro to Micro’ in this 6 lecture course we were taken through life ‘In the Age of the Pyramids: Egypt during the Old Kingdom’.
Lucia broke this course into:
Settlement Archaeology – Towns, villages and settlements; Religious Archaeology – Shrines and Temples; and Funerary Archaeology of the Old Kingdom.  This has to be one of the most fascinating period of the entire 3000 years of Egyptian Empire and Lucia certainly delivered!

Beginning with transition from Khasekhemwy (last pharaoh of the 2nd Dynasty) to the pharaoh Netjerikhet;  now more commonly referred to as Djoser, the 1st pharoah of the 3rd Dynasty and builder of the world’s first pyramid, we studied the pharaohs of the Old Kingdom.

We looked at their pyramids and pyramids fields; the elite and their cemeteries, often clustering around the royal funerary monuments (and in particular, those of the fantastic 4th Dynasty and the Great Pyramids at Giza); and the various changes in monumental funerary architecture across the period.

Lucia discussed the excavations in the area on the Red Sea Coast at Ayn Sukhna (Suez area), in the southern Sinai Peninsula and the Northern part of the Eastern Desert (Wadi Araba).  Here, the ancient port of Wadi el Jarf revealed finds which date to the reign of Khufu (which may have been put in place during the reign of Sneferu), and provided evidence for the transportation of limestone, copper and turquoise from Sinai to the Nile Valley via the Red Sea.  How they built and stored their boats and how this port was of primary importance to importing materials and goods for the building of the Great Pyramid of Khufu at Giza.

We were introduced to plans and monuments of settlements up and down Egypt, including the desert settlements.  There were discussion of defenses and fortifications of the borders – especially those on the border of Nubia in the south

The proved to be an extremely comprehensive course which went into the detail of life during the Old Kingdom and was brilliant!  However, having enjoyed 2 back to back lectures over the last 12 weeks, I now feel the need to stop and absorb all the fascinating insights Lucia has given us into what living in Egypt during those periods must have been.

Lucia and the Kemet Klub have done it yet again.  Thanks everyone!

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