Amunhotep III (Part 9): The Dark Years. Between 1380 and 1370 BCE, Egypt may have suffered an outbreak of disease. In this decade, at least four royal family members died, and the political situation was irrevocably changed. It wasn't all bad, though: around 1380, Queen Tiy went through the difficulties of childbirth and offered a [...]

Interlude: Royal Children on the Rise. From 1385 to 1380, the prince of Egypt Thutmose was climbing up the ranks. From a lowly sem-priest to the chief of a great temple, Thutmose was a quickly rising star. His sister, Sit-Amun, also leaves a tantalizing trace of her life. We explore a non-royal funeral, the cult [...]

Interlude: Queen Tiy's Lucky Family. The family of Queen Tiy came from an interesting place, and led a fascinating life. Her mother and father - Tjuyu and Yuya - and her brother Anen enjoyed great privileges thanks to their family connections. In life, and in death, they left an enduring legacy... Direct Download (Save As [...]

The Egyptian Religious Year (Part 12/12). The Egyptian year ended on a down-note. Thanks to a string of "unlucky" days, the ancients experienced a time of uncertainty and disorder in their lives. Part of this was due to the fact that the end of the year was co-opted entirely by Sakhmet, Lady of War and [...]

(Interlude). Queen Mother Tiaa was a mighty lady indeed. Before coming to power as mother of Thutmose IV, Tiaa lived a comfortable life in the palace of the royal harem. This institution remains mysterious, but we know a little bit about it... Direct Download (Save As mp3) The main centres of this episode   From the [...]

The Religious Year (Part 10+11). As the end of year approached, the Egyptians celebrated some essential festivals to honour the past and prepare for the future. With the harvest now underway, and the flood on the horizon, the Egyptians first celebrated the memory of their ancestors, and then made offerings to Hapy: lord of the [...]

The Religious Year (8+9). The planting season (peret) was ending; the season of harvest (shemu) was starting. Over these two months, Egyptians looked to the fields, and the gods that would protect the growth of the crops. To guarantee divine favour and protection, they looked to beings that would protect them from hardship or hazard. [...]

Amunhotep II (Part 6). Around 1420 BCE, Amunhotep II was entering his last days on the throne. The King was in his early forties, and beginning to feel his age. It was time to look for a successor; but with so many children (10+) around, who was the King going to choose? Direct Download (Save [...]

Amunhotep II (Part 5) The pharaoh Amunhotep II (c.1430 BCE) has a reputation for cronyism. He promoted friends and confidants to positions of influence and power, seemingly on the basis of familiarity rather than merit. This contrasts sharply with his father, making Amunhotep appear to be a shift in the politics of the time. What [...]