Recordings will be made available for those unable to attend the live sessions!

The ancient Egyptians lived in a world filled with deities. Divine beings were thought to inhabit every corner of the cosmos and had direct involvement in people’s everyday experiences, whether their dominion was an individual town or the entire universe. Among these beings were powerful goddesses, whose roles ranged from benevolent creators to vengeful destroyers, mothers and wives to warriors and the very forces of nature.

In this course, you will encounter some of the goddesses who made up the Egyptian pantheon. Some you will have heard of, others you may not have done, but all contributed to the richness of the ancient Egyptian worldview. In addition to learning some of the myths, iconographies, and rituals associated with these goddesses, you will also consider fundamental questions about what makes a goddess, and how understandings of gender may have affected their roles. All of this while gaining familiarity with key sources used by Egyptologists, including archaeological material, artwork, and texts in translation.

No background knowledge is needed for this course, just interest and enthusiasm for Egyptian goddesses. The course will cover material dating from c. 3000 BCE to the 6th Century CE, and geographic regions from the banks of the Nile in Upper Egypt to the banks of the Thames in London.

Join us as we discover the goddesses of ancient Egypt.



Dr Edward Scrivens is the Development Manager at the Egypt Exploration Society. He earned his doctorate at The Queen’s College, University of Oxford, where he held the prestigious Barns Studentship in Egyptology. His thesis examined how goddesses were depicted in the wall scenes of tombs and temples during the Ramessid period (c. 1295-1069 BCE), using iconography and the spatial dimensions of Egyptian art to consider how gender roles were thought to function in the divine world. Following the completion of his doctorate, he lectured as Tutor in Egyptology at Swansea University, and continues to maintain an active research programme alongside his work at the EES (he is an author and co-editor for a forthcoming volume for Liverpool University Press). Ed is an enthusiastic advocate for the importance of outreach and public engagement, and outside of Egyptology he is a comedy and drag performer.

Course Dates

Thursday 23rd March, 18:00-19:30 (UK) time
Week one - Introduction: What makes a Goddess?
In this introductory session we will cover some of the groundwork for the course, and ask an important question: what is a goddess anyway, and how might we spot them?

Thursday 30th March, 18:00-19:30 (UK) time
Week two - Goddesses of Creation
This week we take things right back to the beginning and look at the goddesses associated with the creation, whether they were thought to be the origin of creation themselves, the feminine principle at work in creation, or whether they embodied fundamental aspects of the created world.

Thursday 6th April, 18:00-19:30 (UK) time
Week three - Hathor and the ‘Eye Goddess’
Hathor was one of the most important goddesses in the Egyptian pantheon, to the extent that many goddesses came to be seen as aspects of her. This week we will look at some of her key myths and associations, including her role as one of the goddesses who held the title ‘Eye of Ra’.

Thursday 13th April, 18:00-19:30 (UK) time

Week four - Isis: Wife, Mother, Magician
While the names of gods like Ra, Horus, and Osiris are widely recognised outside of Egyptological circles, relatively few goddesses have been given that same status. Isis is an exception. She was a key figure in the all-important myth of Osiris’ death and resurrection, a powerful figure in her own right, and her worship would eventually spread beyond Egypt to the very edges of the Roman empire. This week we’ll examine a little of that story.

Thursday 20th April, 18:00-19:30 (UK) time
Week five - Divine Women
For the final week of the course, we will look at some of the historical women who gained divine status. Some of these were queens who were deified after death, others were women who took on the divine role of Pharaoh. Some were priestesses who acted as wives to the gods themselves, and others were important local figures who were deified by their communities after death.


Members of the Egypt Exploration Society can book at a heavily discounted rate. If you’re not yet a member but would like to join in order to receive this discount, we are offering up to five months free for new members signing up with this course (your subscription would last until March 2023)! Please ensure that you have joined here, and purchase your EES subscription and course tickets on the same day for this promotion to be valid. If you are a Cairo Associate, then please contact our Cairo Office to reserve your discounted tickets: [email protected] 

Register for your place in advance using the links below. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the course. Links for joining the event will be sent by email. If you do not receive your email, then please check your junk folders before contacting the Egypt Exploration Society. The course will be held on our Zoom platform and attendees will be able to interact by asking questions, using the chat and polls. It is not necessary to have a working webcam or microphone for this course. The online course will be complemented by Google Drive, where resources will be uploaded.

Please ensure that you have read our guide to attending EES online events before the course begins.

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