Episode 78: The Duties of the Vizier

How to lead a Pharaoh’s kingdom (Part 1). The Vizier Rekh-mi-Re was a powerful and influential man. Serving Thutmose III, and then Amunhotep II, Rekhmire was the mayor of Thebes, and the Vizer (tjaty) of Upper Egypt. In his day, he dealt with judicial matters, administration, economics, petitions, and power politics. To his enduring credit,…

Mini Episode: Banquet Festivities

The Month of Cats and Snakes (The Religious Year 5/12). The fifth month, Ta-Abet (“the banquet offering”) was a month for worshiping snakes and cats above all. In particular, the Egyptians celebrated the gods Nehebkau, Bastet, Mut and Wadjet. We meet three of these strange deities, and see why, for the Egyptians, cats and snakes went hand-in-hand…

Episode 77: Lean and Swift

Amunhotep II (Part I): The Early Years (1459 to 1440 BCE): Amunhotep II enjoyed a privileged upbringing. He rode chariots, competed in sports activities, and even trained horses. When he ascended to power, he continued many of these habits. From the battle-field to the sports-field, Amunhotep II immediately set out to carve a distinct niche…

Episode 76: 54 Years of Splendour

Thutmose III (Part X): The End of Days. From 1450 to 1441 BCE, Thutmose enjoyed the last nine years of his rule. He commanded a final expedition; oversaw construction work at many sites; brought his tomb to completion; and made arrangements for the succession. Finally, the day came when Thutmose would face his creator… Direct Download…

Mini Episode: Khoiak Festivities

The Religious Year (4/12). The month of Khoiak (Ka hr Ka, “Ka upon Ka”) was a time to celebrate Osiris, Hathor and the god Sokar. As the flood season ended, the Egyptians looked to close the chapter on their re-enactment of the Osiris myth. They ended the season with a divine marriage, a craftsmen’s festival, and a…

Episode 75: Thutmose Triumphant

Thutmose III (Part IX): Supremacy and Insecurity.   From 1455 to 1450 BCE, Thutmose III demonstrated a surprising shift in attitude; he became anxious and insecure. The King’s insecurities centered on issues of legitimacy (his own) and security (for his son). What stimulated these? What else: the lingering question of Queen Hatshepsut and her unorthodox rule….

Episode 74: War Stories

Thutmose III (Part VIII): The Final Campaigns.   After 20+ years of near-annual campaigning, Thutmose III finally comes to the end of his life at war. We explore the last ten years of this process in one sweep: successes (and failures) abound; there is diplomacy and war, and the King finally comes to a bloody…

Mini Episode: Hathor Festivities

The religious year (3/12) The third month was called “Hathor” (“Athyr”). It was a time for renewing fertility and creative energies in the natural world. Festivals to the male god of sexual energy, and the widow and sister of Osiris dominated this time… Direct Download (Save As mp3) Min Warning: images may have objectionable sexual aspects…

Episode 73: The Three Princesses

Thutmose III (Part VII): Diplomacy & the Egyptian Empire After the brilliant campaign of regnal year 33, Thutmose enjoys a period of peace and plenty. Foreign powers begin to seek relations with Egypt, and the power of the Pharaoh appears supreme. This also manifests in the appearance of three unusual princesses… Direct Download (Save As…

Mini Episode: Opet Festivities

The Religious Year (2/12). In the month of Pa-Opet (“Phaophi”) the Egyptians continued their long re-enactment of the myth of Osiris. They also celebrated a huge festival in honour of the Pharaoh. And they mummifed a bunch of rams, for some reason… Direct Download (Save As mp3) The processional way from Karnak (top, off-screen) to…

Episode 72: The Home Front (Letters to Ahmose)

Personal Correspondence in Early New Kingdom Thebes Letters are a rare and exciting find for Egyptologists. Especially when they’re intact; and especially when there’s a number of them all concerning the same individual. By a miracle of preservation, a corpus of letters survive from Thebes c.1480 BCE. These letters were sent to (and from) a single…

News From the Field 2

February 2017. There have been some exciting discoveries in the recent archaeological season! We find out what they were. Direct Download (Save As mp3) Children’s footprints in mortar, Qantir (Ahram.org) Entrance to the tomb of Khonsu, discovered at Luxor (Luxor Times) The legs that may belong to Queen Nefertari (LiveScience) Sources: Ahram.org – ‘Monumental’ Building…