(Interlude). Around 1440 BCE, Egyptians were carving the burial monument of Amunhotep II in the Valley of the Kings. In 1898 CE, a group of excavators were uncovering the edifice once more. In a dual narrative, we explore the design, construction and discovery of a most remarkable tomb… Direct Download (Save As mp3) The Tomb [...]

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 [...]

The Book of the Hidden Chamber (Amduat) In the mid-18th Dynasty (c.1430 BCE), pharaohs were decorating their tombs with a beautiful and intricate set of religious images. These texts/scenes comprised the Amduat ("That Which is in the Underworld"), and they told the story of Re's journey through the night-time hours. In twelve chapters, Re travelled [...]

The Architect Kha and his Book of Going Forth by Day In the days of Amunhotep II (c.1420 BCE), a royal architect named Kha commissioned a funerary text for his tomb. This text was a magnificent rendition of the Book of the Dead. To celebrate Kha's work, and the survival of his tomb, we take [...]

The Religious Year (6 + 7 / 12): Great and Small Heat The sixth and seventh months of the year were called Great and Small Heat, respectively. They were a time of mainly elite ceremonies: obscure theological performances that took place in the great temples. Among the festivities were celebrations of the gods Anubis and [...]

Amunhotep II (Part 4): Worshiping the Sphinx Before he became King, Amunhotep II made a promise to revitalize worship at the Giza necropolis. Once Pharaoh, he fulfilled that promise in spectacular fashion... Direct Download (Save As mp3) The Sphinx Temple of Amunhotep II (GizaPyramids.org) The Sphinx Temple of Amunhotep II, with limestone gateway and the [...]

Amunhotep II (Part 3): the Origins of the Exodus. 1435 BCE was a landmark year. Leading two campaigns, in regnal years seven and nine, Amunhotep II institutes a new policy of depopulating rebellious regions in Canaan, Lebanon and Syria. He strips whole communities of their families, and brings thousands back to Egypt as captives. These [...]