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

The Theban necropolis preserves more than 500 decorated New Kingdom elite tombs. These so-called Tombs of the Nobles have been studied (and numbered with the famous TT numbers) since the inception of Egyptology. Some of them, like the tomb of Nakht (TT52) and the tomb of Ramose (TT55), are open to the public and widely admired for the richness and artistic quality of their decorations. Many others have only been accessible to specialists who recorded their architecture and decoration.

In this course, Dr Claudia Näser will provide a systematic introduction to this unique group of monuments. Joining the course will allow you to not just appreciate the beauty of the Theban tombs. Rather, by exploring how their architecture and decorative schemes evolved from the early 18th Dynasty to the late Ramesside period (ca. 1500–1100 BCE), the course will enable you to more fully engage with these tombs, understand the religious meaning of individual scenes as well as the “grammar” of their overall design, and acknowledge how they supported the existence of the tomb owners in the afterlife.

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Tomb of Nakht (TT52)

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The course is open to everyone, whether they are beginners in learning about ancient Egypt or life-long enthusiasts. A summary chronology and visual material like tomb plans will be provided in printable format before the course to enhance engagement by allowing participants to retrace and map the content discussed in the course for themselves.

Course Outline

Please note that main content will be delivered between 14:00-17:00, though some optional participation (quizzes, Q&A, etc.) may continue beyond that time. 

Saturday 5 October 2024, 14:00-17:00 (UK time)
Week One - Theban Tombs of the 18th Dynasty (c. 1550–1346 BCE)
In the first week, we will start by exploring the historical, social and religious context of the Theban necropolis. We will then look at the tombs of the 18th Dynasty up to the Amarna Period to investigate the repertoire of motifs – including the famous daily-life scenes – and their spatial organisation in the tomb chapels.

Saturday 12 October 2024, 14:00-17:00 (UK time)
Week Two - Theban Tombs of the 19th Dynasty (c. 1295–1069 BCE)
In the second week, we will explore the dramatic changes in the decorative programme after the Amarna Period, i.e. in the early Ramesside era. We will consider how these changes reflect wider social and religious developments. Summing up, we will discuss how tomb owners used their mortuary monuments to not only support their existence in the afterlife, but also to advertise their position in Egyptian society and reintegrate themselves in the social networks of ancestors and descendants. 

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Tomb of Neferrenpet (TT178)

Booking and information

Register for your place in advance using the link below. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about your booking. 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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Tomb of Ramose (TT55) 

Dr Claudia Näser

Dr Claudia Näser

Associate Professor in Egyptian Archaeology, Institute of Archaeology at University College London

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