Episodes

  • Horemheb at Karnak (Part 1). Before his ascent, Horemheb had managed building projects for Tutankhamun. Now, as pharaoh, Horemheb went all out. He invested in one of the largest building sprees Karnak would ever see. His monuments continue to define this temple...


    Episode details:

    Date: c.1329 BCE.Music: Horemheb theme by Luke Chaos.Music interludes by Luke Chaos and Keith Zizza.References and images available at www.egyptianhistorypodcast.com.Support the show at www.patreon.com/egyptpodcast.See photos of Horemheb’s Pylons (2, 9, and 10) at Wikimedia.

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  • Karnak had experienced a tumultuous time, in the three decades preceding Horemheb's reign... Dates: c.1362 - 1300 BCE. Music interludes: Keith Zizza, Ancient Lyric, and Hathor Systrum. Further information at www.egyptianhistorypodcast.com.

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  • Queen Mutnodjmet is a curious case. For some scholars, she may be the lost sister of Nefertiti. This hypothesis has kicked around for over 100 years. Why can’t we resolve it?

    Episode details:

    Date: c.1330 BCE.Music: "Hymn to Hathor," by Bettina Joy de Guzman www.bettinajoydeguzman.comInterludes by Luke Chaos https://twitter.com/luke_chaosFind pictures and reference materials at www.egyptianhistorypodcast.comSupport the show at www.patreon.com/egyptpodcast

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  • Revisionist history in the age of pharaohs. King Horemheb (“Horus in Celebration”) came to power in unusual circumstances. To justify his rule, the new pharaoh set about “retelling” his origins. In a lengthy story, Horemheb cast himself as one chosen by the gods, and destined to rule…

    Episode details:

    Date: c. 1330 BCE.Intro Music & Interludes: Luke Chaos.Intro Music & Interludes: Keith Zizza.Outro Music: Bettina Joy de Guzman.Read "The Reign of Horemheb," PhD Thesis by K.M. Bryson at Johns Hopkins University.Logo image: Horemheb and Horus, in the King's tomb (KV57).Booklet: No booklet for this episode, as it describes text only.

    References:

    K. M. Bryson, ‘The Reign of Horemheb: History, Historiography, and the Dawn of the Ramesside Era’, Unpublished PhD. Thesis, Johns Hopkins University (2018). Online.A. Gardiner, ‘The Coronation of King Ḥaremḥab’, The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 39 (1953), 13–31.W. J. Murnane, Texts from the Amarna Period in Egypt (Atlanta, 1995).

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  • The Coronation of King Hor-em-heb. A few months after he took power, Egypt's new pharaoh Horemheb ("Horus in Celebration") celebrated his rule. It was a magnificent party... 


    Episode details:

    Date: c.1330 BCE.Logo: Horemheb's royal names, from his tomb in the Valley of the Kings. MMA.Music interludes by Luke Chaos twitter.com/luke_chaos.

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  • Other victims, and some clarifications. In this brief episode, I describe another individual who suffered desecration. Following Ay's death, members of his family/network fell from grace. Did they oppose, or fight, the new King Horemheb?


    Episode details:

    Date c.1330 BCE.Images and references at www.egyptianhistorypodcast.com.Music by Luke Chaos.

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  • Inheritance and vengeance. King Ay had his own plans for the succession. He promoted his relative, Nakht-Min, to great power and prominence. But when Ay died, Nakhtmin found himself at odds with Egypt's mighty general, Horemheb. What would happen, to the feuding leaders?


    Episode details:

    Date: c.1330 BCE (approximate).References at www.egyptianhistorypodcast.com.Support the show at www.patreon.com/egyptpodcast.Music: Keith Zizza www.keithzizza.net. Music interludes: Luke Chaos https://twitter.com/Luke_Chaos.

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  • Mediterranean, Aegean, Pirates. In the 14th Century BCE, records from Egypt hint at piracy and raiding across the sea. And artistic images even show Mycenaeans(?) at the pharaoh's court. All of this may reflect the history behind great stories like the Odyssey...


    Date: c.1400 - 1300 BCE. Music: Michael Levy, "Odysseus and the Sirens," www.ancientlyre.com. Audio editing by www.yourpodcastpal.com. See the "Mycenaean Papyrus" at the British Museum website. Mycenaean pottery from Amarna, at the Petrie Museum University College London.


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  • Check out Casting Through Ancient Greece, a chronological deep dive on the world of the Aegean. From the earliest ages, through epic tales and archaeological discovery, Casting Greece takes you on a wonderful journey. Enjoy this teaser trailer, from a recent episode. And learn more at https://castingthroughancientgreece.com/ and https://twitter.com/CastingGreece

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  • Egypt, Canaan, Babylon, Assyria. In the 14th Century BCE, travellers criss-crossed the world. Many came to Egypt for diplomacy, trade, and to live. In this episode, we explore three short stories relating to Egypt and its neighbours...


    Episode details

    Pictures and references at www.egyptianhistorypodcast.comSupport the show at www.patreon.com/egyptpodcastMusic intro: Michael Levy, "Babylonian Banquet" and "The Magic of Marduk," www.ancientlyre.com

    Select References

    The Egyptian-Akkadian Phrasebook: S. Izre’el, The Amarna Scholarly Texts (1997).Assyria Joins the Scene: Amarna Letter EA15, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.Aper-el, Pharaoh's Man: Alain Zivie, 2018, Biblical Archaeology Review.

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  • A couple small updates about the podcast schedule moving forward. Also, we have opened up a few more spaces on the Tour to Egypt for November 2022. Visit Ancient World Tours for details including dates, itinerary, cost, and how you can reserve your place! Spaces strictly limited, available on a "first come first serve basis."


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  • In the last years of Khufu’s reign, work on the Great Pyramid was nearing completion. From this period, the Diary of Merer provides unexpected testimony: a record of workers contributing to the Giza project…


    Episode Details

    Date: c. 2600 BCE.

    The Diary of Merer: English translation and commentary by Prof. Pierre Tallet available free, at IFAO.

    Music by Keith Zizza www.keithzizza.net.

    Music by Bettina Joy de Guzman www.bettinajoydeguzman.com.

    Music interludes by Luke Chaos https://twitter.com/Luke_Chaos.

    Support the Show at www.egyptianhistorypodcast.com and patreon.com.

    Audio editing and processing by yourpodcastpal.com.


    Select References

    Lehner and Hawass, Giza and the Pyramids (2017).

    Monnier and Lightbody, The Great Pyramid 2590 BC Onwards (2019).

    Tallet, Les Papyrus de la Mer Rouge I: Le "Journal de Merer" (Papyrus Jarf A et B) (2017).

    Tallet and Lehner, The Red Sea Scrolls: How Ancient Papyri Reveal the Secrets of the Pyramids (2021).

    Verner, The Pyramids: The Archaeology and History of Egypt’s Iconic Monuments (2020).


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  • Amarna Tales (Part 1). East of Akhet-Aten (Amarna), a walled-village hides among the hills. This "East Village" is a well-ordered, secluded community. It seems to be the new home of pharaoh's tomb builders. Originally, they lived at Deir el-Medina in west Luxor. But when Akhenaten founded his new royal city, the tomb-builders left their homes and came here. Today, archaeologists have uncovered a vast amount of material. Homes, animal pens, chapels, and countless artefacts shed light on daily life and family organisation in ancient Egypt. From homes to chapels, guard-houses to water depots, the East Village offers fantastic insights. It even includes traces of Tutankhamun, before he abandoned Amarna...


    Episode details:

    Date: c.1355 - 1340 BCE.Location: Akhet-Aten (el-Amarna).Kings: Akhenaten, Neferneferuaten, Tutankhaten/Tutankhamun.Logo image: A battle standard or soldier's emblem, with a sigil of Wepwawet (Kemp 2012).Music by Keith Zizza www.keithzizza.net.Music by Bettina Joy de Guzman www.bettinajoydeguzman.com.Music interludes by Luke Chaos https://twitter.com/Luke_Chaos.

    Bibliography:

    Read reports on the East Village and other aspects of Amarna's archaeology free, at The Amarna Project.M. Bierbrier, The Tomb-Builders of the Pharaohs (1982).A. H. Bomann, The Private Chapel in Ancient Egypt: A Study of the Chapels in the Workmen’s Village at El Amarna with Special Reference to Deir el Medina and Other Sites (1991).B. G. Davies, Life Within the Five Walls: A Handbook to Deir el-Medina (2018).B. Kemp, The City of Akhenaten and Nefertiti: Amarna and Its People (2012).B. J. Kemp, Amarna Reports I (1984). Free at The Amarna Project.B. J. Kemp, ‘The Amarna Workmen’s Village in Retrospect’, The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 73 (1987), 21–50.T. E. Peet and C. L. Woolley, The City of Akhenaten, Volume I (1923). Available free at Archive.org.A. Stevens, Private Religion at Amarna. The Material Evidence (2006).A. Stevens, ‘Private Religion in the Amarna Suburbs’, in F. Kampp-Seyfried (ed.), In the Light of Amarna: 100 Years of the Nefertiti Discovery (2012), 95—97.A. Stevens, ‘Visibility, Private Religion and the Urban Landscape of Amarna’, in M. Dalton et al. (eds.), Seen & Unseen Spaces (2015), 77—84.

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  • Previously unreleased. King Sneferu was a legendary ruler. His three pyramids at Meidum and Dahshur mark the transition from Step Pyramids to True Pyramids. But his legacy is more than stone. The King left other records and hints of his personality. We go in search of the ruler who loved beauty...


    Episode Details

    Date: c. 2650 BCE. 

    Texts: The Westcar Papyrus (translation by Mark-Jan Nederhof).

    Pyramids: The Meidum Pyramid, Bent Pyramid, and Red Pyramid (see all at wikimedia).

    Logo image: Sneferu's pyramid at Meidum via Wikimedia.

    Support the Show at www.egyptianhistorypodcast.com, and patreon.com.

    Audio editing and processing by yourpodcastpal.com.


    Select References

    N. Alexanian and F. Arnold, ‘The Complex of the Bent Pyramid as a Landscape Design Project’, in M. Ullmann (ed.), 10. Ägyptologische Tempeltagung (2016), 1—16. Online.

    F. Arnold, ‘A Ceremonial Building of King Snofru at Dahshur’, in M. Bietak and S. Prell (eds.), Ancient Egyptian and Ancient Near Eastern Palaces (2018), 113—124. Online.

    G. Dormion and J.-Y. Verd’hurt, La chambre de Meidoum : analyse architecturale. 1, Texte (2013).

    F. Monnier, ‘New Light on the Architecture of the Bent Pyramid’, Nile Magazine 20 (2019), 44—50. Online.

    F. Monnier, ‘A New Survey of the Upper Chambers of Snefru’s Pyramids at Dahshur’, Journal of Ancient Egyptian Architecture 4 (2020), 1—17. Online.

    C. Reader, ‘The Meidum Pyramid’, Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt (2015), 203—224. Online.

    D. Rosenow, ‘Dahschur, Ägypten. Die Arbeiten der Herbstkampagne 2019 und Frühjahrskampagne 2020’, Elektronische Publikationen Desdeutschen Archäologischen Instituts 2 (2020), 8—15. Online.


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  • Or, the Life Aquatic with Gold Scarabs... Around 1325 BCE (estimates vary) a vessel sank near the cape of Uluburun, Turkey. The cargo was immense: twenty tonnes of goods, including copper, ivory, ornamental objects, spices, and more. Amid the finds, a curious item came to light: a gold scarab, bearing the name Neferneferuaten Nefertiti... What was a Nefertiti scarab doing on a trade ship, far from Egypt? And what do the finds tell us about the ship, its crew, and ancient trade?


    The Uluburun Shipwreck:

    Date: c.1325 BCE (estimated).Cultures: Multiple, including Egyptian, Canaanite, Syrian, and Mycenaean.Ship destination: Possibly the Aegean, western Anatolia, or even the Balkans.Logo image: Divers working on the Uluburun wreck, via The Institute of Nautical Archaeology website.Catalogue of objects in Beyond Babylon, 2008. Free pdf from MMA.Image gallery at The Institute of Nautical Archaeology website.Artefacts in the Bodrum museum, on Flickr.com.Miscellaneous items, at Wikimedia.A replica of the ship, Uluburun II, at Underwater360.A lecture by Cemal Pulak, one of the lead excavators. YouTube.

    References:

    G. Bass et al., ‘The Bronze Age Shipwreck at Ulu Burun: 1986 Campaign’, American Journal of Archaeology 93 (1989), 1–29.C. M. Monroe, ‘Sunk Costs at Late Bronze Age Uluburun’, Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 357 (2010), 19–33.C. Pulak, ‘Analysis of the Weight Assemblages from the Late Bronze Age Shipwrecks at Uluburun and Cape Gelidonya, Turkey, Volume I’, Unpublished PhD. Thesis, Texas A&M University (1996).C. Pulak, ‘The Uluburun Shipwreck: An Overview’, The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 27 (1998), 188–224.C. Pulak, ‘The Uluburun Shipwreck and Late Bronze Age Trade’, in Beyond Babylon: Art, Trade, and Diplomacy in the Second Millennium B.C. (2008), 289–310. Book available free, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.C. Pulak, ‘Uluburun Shipwreck’, in The Oxford Handbook of the Bronze Age Aegean (2012), 863—876.C. Pulak, lecture on YouTube.J. Weinstein, ‘The Bronze Age Shipwreck at Ulu Burun: 1986 Campaign, Part 3: The Gold Scarab of Nefertiti from Ulu Burun: Its Implications for Egyptian History and Egyptian-Aegean Relations’, American Journal of Archaeology 93 (1989), 17–29.

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  • Previously unreleased. Following the death of Netjerykhet Djoser (episode 4), Egyptians had achieved something magnificent. The Step Pyramid at Saqqara loomed over the horizon, in a palatial complex that rivaled earthly cities. Naturally, the next rulers would try to match, even surpass, the great monument. They failed in this quest, but their attempts are fascinating. In this episode, we fill in a lesser-known gap, in the history of ancient Egypt's pyramids. At the same time, we tell the tale of a renowned archaeologist, Mohamed Zakariah Goneim, whose work and influence deserve greater recognition...


    Episode details:

    Date: c. 2670 — 2630 BCEKings: Netjerykhet (Djoser); Sekhem-khet; Kha-ba.Logo: The entrance to Sekhemkhet's pyramid at Saqqara. See more at wikimedia.Music: Keith Zizza www.keithzizza.net.Support the show at www.patreon.com/egyptpodcast.References and images at www.egyptianhistorypodcast.com.Episode written 2019/2020. Released to Patreon subscribers 2021. Released to public 2022.Video: See modern stoneworkers reproducing ancient vessels, at Scientists Against Myths https://youtu.be/dC3Z_DBnCp8

    Select references:

    Andrzej Ćwiek, “Date and Function of the So-Called Minor Step Pyramids,” Göttingen Miszellen 162 (1998): 39–52.Raphael Giveon, "A Second Relief of Sekhemkhet in Sinai," Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, 216 (1974): 17-20.M. Zakaria Goneim, The Buried Pyramid, 1956.Jean-Philippe Lauer, "Le Complexe Funéraire De L'horus Sekhem-Khet Et La Seconde Pyramide A Degrés De Saqqarah," Revue Archéologique 2 (1959): 89-95.Ronald J. Leprohon, The Great Name: Ancient Egyptian Royal Titulary, 2013.Stephan J. Seidlmayer, "The Relative Chronology of Dynasty 3," in E. Hornung, R. Krauss, and D. Warburton (eds), Ancient Egyptian Chronology, 2006: 116-23. 

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  • King Ay suffered badly in the afterlife. His funeral, in 1331 BCE, was poor; and a few decades/centuries later, vandals broke into his tomb. They ransacked the monument, attacked the King's images, and erased his names. The attack was brutal but methodical. Why did this happen?


    Episode Details

    Date c.1331 BCE and a few decades / centuries later.

    Logo image: Erasures on the wrists of Nut, Lady of the Sky, as she offers nyny (welcome) to King Ay. Photo by Dominic Perry, 2022.

    Photos: See photos of the tomb of Ay (KV23) by Dominic Perry, available on Google Drive.

    Music: “The Mummy’s Tomb,” by Tabletop Audio. Used with permission.

    Music: Sistrum sound effect by Hathor Systrum www.hathorsystrum.com. Used with permission.

    Music: Interludes by Luke Chaos https://twitter.com/Luke_Chaos.


    Select References

    A. Dodson, Amarna Sunset: Nefertiti, Tutankhamun, Ay, Horemheb, and the Egyptian Counter-Reformation (2nd edn, 2017).

    M. Gabolde, Toutankhamon (2015).

    W. J. Murnane, Texts from the Amarna Period in Egypt (1995).

    O. Schaden, ‘The God’s Father Ay’, Unpublished PhD. Thesis, University of Minnesota (1977).

    O. J. Schaden, ‘Clearance of the Tomb of King Ay (WV-23)’, Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 21 (1984), 39–64. JSTOR online.

    R. H. Wilkinson, ‘Controlled Damage: The Mechanics and Micro-History of the Damnatio Memoriae Carried Out in KV-23, the Tomb of Ay’, Journal of Egyptian History 4 (2011), 129–47.


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  • When Ay Died. The elderly pharaoh, Kheper-kheperu-Ra Ay, probably died in his fourth or fifth year of power (c. 1331 / 1330 BCE). Officially, his reign was short. But in the big picture, Ay's influence lasted decades. As a courtier, under Akhenaten and Tutankhamun, Ay participated in government and royal affairs for many years. This means we have abundant records for the man and his career, and Ay contributed to Egyptian history in some noteworthy ways. In this episode, we explore the final years of Ay's reign, and consider his legacy as a pharaoh of ancient Egypt...


    Episode details:

    Date: c.1331 / 1330 BCE.Kings: Kheper-kheperu-Ra Ay, “Doer of Ma’at” and “True Ruler.”Logo image: The sarcophagus of Ay, artist’s reconstruction. Prisse D'Avennes, 1878.See photos of Ay’s tomb (WV23) by Kairoinfo4u on Flickr.com.See Ay’s tomb (WV23) by Curtis Ryan Woodside on YouTube.Music: “Memories of Thebes,” by Keith Zizza www.keithzizza.net. Used with permission.Music: “Funeral,” by Bettina Joy de Guzman http://www.bettinajoydeguzman.com. Used with permission.Additional music interludes by Luke Chaos https://twitter.com/Luke_Chaos.

    Select references

    A. Dodson, Amarna Sunset: Nefertiti, Tutankhamun, Ay, Horemheb, and the Egyptian Counter-Reformation (2nd edn, 2017).M. Gabolde, Toutankhamon (2015).N. Kawai, ‘Studies in the Reign of Tutankhamun’, Unpublished PhD. Thesis, Johns Hopkins University (2005).R. J. Leprohon, The Great Name: Ancient Egyptian Royal Titulary (2013).W. J. Murnane, Texts from the Amarna Period in Egypt (1995).O. Schaden, ‘The God’s Father Ay’, PhD. Thesis, University of Minnesota (1977).

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  • Pharaoh's Nephew. A small statue, in the Brooklyn museum, tells a tale. Of a King's nephew (by marriage), and the paths to lucrative work and influence in Egyptian society. A young man, also named Ay, worked as a priest for Mut (the Mother Goddess) and Amun (the Hidden One). Along the way, this young man probably gained wealth and position. His tale gives us an opportunity to explore the "system" by which prominent families jostled for position, and promoted their sons...


    Episode details:

    Date: c.1331 BCE.King: Kheper-kheperu-Ra, the God's Father Ay.Logo image: The statue of Ay, priest, in the Brooklyn Museum.Music: "Splendors of Egypt," by Ancient Lyric www.bettinajoydeguzman.com Additional music interludes by Luke Chaos https://twitter.com/Luke_Chaos and Keith Zizza www.keithzizza.net.

    Select references: 

    B. V. Bothmer, ‘Private Sculpture of Dynasty XVIII in Brooklyn’, The Brooklyn Museum Annual 8 (1966), 55–89.N. Kawai, ‘Studies in the Reign of Tutankhamun’, Unpublished PhD. Thesis, Johns Hopkins University (2005).Block Statue of Ay, ca. 1332-1322 B.C.E. Limestone, 18 9/16 x 10 x 12 1/4in. (47.1 x 25.4 x 31.1cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 66.174.1. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 66.174.1_view1_SL1.jpg)

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  • Building Legacies. It is easy to overlook Ay, as a minor figure in the history of ancient Egypt. However, when we step back, and view his entire career (including pre-royal achievements), we can see things more clearly. As pharaoh, Ay continued many projects started under Tutankhamun. But since Ay had been a major advisor / courtier for that king, we can recognise these projects as part of a larger, longer trend. After the death of Akhenaten, the royal household radically reshaped many of its priorities. Since he first appeared on the scene, Ay was at the heart of those decisions…


    Episode details:

    Date: c.1331 BCE.Kings: Kheper-kheperu-Ra Ay, “Who Repels the ‘Asiatics.’”Episode logo: A colossal statue in Cairo Museum. Often attributed to Tutankhamun but excavated from the Memorial Temple of Ay.Music: “Lament of Isis and Nephythys on the Death of Osiris,” by Jeffrey Goodman www.jeffreygoodmanmusic.com.Additional music interludes by Luke Chaos https://twitter.com/Luke_Chaos.References and images at www.egyptianhistorypodcast.com.Support the show at www.patreon.com/egyptpodcast.

    Select References:

    A. Dodson, Amarna Sunset: Nefertiti, Tutankhamun, Ay, Horemheb, and the Egyptian Counter-Reformation (2nd edn, 2017).M. Gabolde, Toutankhamon (2015).U. Hölscher, The Excavation of Medinet Habu II: The Temples of the Eighteenth Dynasty (1939). Free download available from The University of Chicago website.O. Schaden, ‘The God’s Father Ay’, PhD Thesis (1977).Full bibliography and references at www.egyptianhistorypodcast.com.

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