This course will introduce participants to Egyptian archaeology in Nubia through hands-on teaching using material preserved in the EES archives. Specifically, this course will encourage students to consider their own approach to archaeological data and the ways that this can influence modern views of ancient Egyptian history. The main themes discussed will include ‘imperialism’, ‘colonialism’, and ‘cultural identity’. Through a series of interactive sessions, involving documents and images from the archives, attendees will discover the ancient history of Egypt’s involvement in Nubia. Buhen, a site now submerged beneath the water of Lake Nasser and Lake Nubia, provides the case study of how our modern interpretation of a site can influence the way that ancient Egyptian imperialism will be studied in the future.

All course reading materials will be made available in the Society's library or electronically. 

The walls of the Buhen fortress


Dr Carl Graves is Director of the Egypt Exploration Society. He completed his MPhil in 2010 focusing on the archaeology of Egyptian imperialism in Nubia during the Middle and New Kingdoms, which forms the background for this series of evening classes.

Course dates

The course will be held from 18:00-20:00 on the following eight Thursdays:

Thursday 2nd April – Buhen in Context: Egypt’s Early Encounters
The Old Kingdom discovery and exploitation of Nubia and the arrival of a prized pygmy in the palace of Pepi II.

Thursday 9th April – Interaction in Isolation: The Middle Kingdom at Buhen
A chance to interact with some of the Buhen archival images held in the EES Lucy Gura Archive. Ask questions of the sources – what do they tell us about life in a Middle Kingdom fortress?

Thursday 23rd April – A Land Reclaimed: The Kingdom of Kush
The Second Intermediate Period represents a breakdown in central control in Egypt, but a blossoming of the kingdom of Kerma in Upper Nubia. What did this mean for the inhabitants of Buhen and the Second Cataract Forts?

Thursday 30th April – Reconquest: 18th Dynasty Reclamation
An inscription of Kamose at Buhen and the early 18th Dynasty temple constructions throughout Lower Nubia. Did Egyptian attitudes to southern populations change? Why? What was happening at sites such as Soleb and Sesebi in Upper Nubia?

Thursday 7th May – The New Kingdom: A New Kind of Colonialism?
‘Egyptianization’ in Nubia – fact or fiction? Where do the ‘Nubians’ go?

Thursday 14th May – Intercultural Communications
Nineteenth Dynasty interactions in Nubia – a changing narrative of interconnection and reciprocal contact. A chance to see the EES Archive of Amara West material and to look at new ideas suggested by more recent investigation.

Thursday 21st May – A Lasting Legacy: Nubia after the New Kingdom
What happened in Nubia after the Egyptian New Kingdom and what impact did this have on Egypt itself?

Thursday 28th May – Redefining the Problem: Solved?
A chance to summarize the topics discussed over the last eight weeks. What does the Archive material tell us about Egypt’s involvement in Nubia particularly between the Egyptian Middle and New Kingdoms?

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EES full member

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Student non-member

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