ARTISANS AND ARCHITECTS: The officials behind the monuments   with Campbell Price
 
We have special permits to explore the rarely visited site of Herakleopolis Magna and enter Senenmuts Tomb at Deir el Bahri. We have also arranged private entry to the First Pylon at Karnak Temple allowing us access to an area with wonderful views across the temple.
 
 
Day 1 - Wednesday 3rd October 2018
We fly London to Cairo on EgyptAir and on arrival we check in to the luxury Mena House Hotel at Giza for three nights on room and breakfast basis. 
 
Day 2 - Giza
This morning we walk the Giza Plateau, site of the Great Pyramids of the 4th Dynasty, the Valley Temple and the mighty Sphinx. There will be time for entry to Pyramids and any open mastabas for those who wish. We return to the hotel for free time at lunch before we head in to the city of Cairo to the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities. (B)
 
Day 3 - Saqqara
To Saqqara to view the wonderful scenes in the Old Kingdom mastabas of Mereruka, Ptahhotep and Kagemni. We also enter the tombs of the pharaohs Unas and Teti to see the astounding Pyramid Texts. We visit the Step Pyramid complex and the Imhotep Museum.  Imhotep has been interpreted as the first known ‘architect’ in history and we will examine his legacy here. After lunch at the Sakkara Palm Club we will re-enter this vast site and visit the Serapeum, burial place of the Apis Bulls and examine records of the artisans who crafted the galleries and the New Kingdom tomb of Maya, an Overseer of Works. (BL)
 
Day 4 - Herakleopolis Magna
After breakfast we begin our journey south to Minya. We have arranged a special private permit to explore the rarely visited site of Herakleopolis Magna. Here we examine evidence of one of the largest recycling projects in Egyptian history, when Ramesses II’s son Khaemwaset transported Old Kingdom monuments for reuse in the temple of Herishef. We have a lunch box from the Mena House while travelling today. On arrival in Minya we check in to the Nefertiti Hotel for a two night stay or half board basis. (BLD)
 
Day 5 - Amarna
A full day at the city of Akhenaten, Tel el Amarna, where we visit the Royal Tomb, the Northern Tombs, the House of Hatiay, the sculptors workshop and the Royal City. Amarna was the site of major and innovative monumental programme; we will examine the elite tombs that record evidence for who masterminded this, and how. We have Lunch boxes from the Nefertiti Hotel today and we will have our lunch break at the Amarna rest house where we can buy hot and cold drinks and use the facilities. (BLD)
 
Day 6 - Beni Hassan
We make and early start to visit the rock-cut tombs at Beni Hassan where we view the colourful reliefs depicting daily life from the Middle Kingdom. We have a lunch box from our hotel once again today. We drive through Middle Egypt to Abydos where we check in to the House of Life Hotel for one night on half board basis. (BLD)
 
Day 7 - Abydos
Our day begins with a visit to the Temple of Seti I where we view reliefs that are regarded by many as the finest in the whole of Egypt. We view the Osireion to the rear of the Seti Temple before walking across the desert sands to the Temple of Ramesses II. We find amazing scenes of the battle of Kadesh on the outer walls and brightly painted scenes inside the temple. Nearby we find Kom el Sultan with its massive mudbrick walls dedicated to Khenty-Amentiu and we have time to walk to the huge mudbrick enclosure  of Shunet El Zebib dating to the 2nd Dynasty. We return to our hotel for lunch and then head for Luxor. On arrival we check in to the Old Winter Palace, Garden Pavilion Wing, for five nights on room and breakfast basis. (BL)
 
Day 8 - The Temple of Amun
Our visits begin with access to the Mut Temple at Karnak where we see many statues in the form of Sekhmet, a sacred lake and the small Ramesses III Temple. On to Karnak itself where we tour the temple and the Open Air Museum. Then we have a private permit for a special event. We have arranged a visit to the First Pylon at Karnak where those who wish will be able to climb the narrow stairs to the top of the Pylon. Splendid views of Karnak await but be warned this is not suitable for anyone with a fear of heights! We return to the hotel for a lunch break and then in the afternoon we visit Luxor Temple and Luxor Museum. (B)
 
Day 9 - The Artisans
We take our private launch across the Nile to join our bus  and head to the village of Deir el Medina. We learn about the lives of the workmen and enter the tombs of the artisans who created the spectacular royal sepulchres in the Valley of the Kings. Next, to Qurnet Murai to enter the tombs of Amenhotep called Huy, Viceroy of Kush TT40 along with Amenemonet and Amenemhab. At Medinet Habu we explore the  Temple of Ramesses III and take note of the outer buildings including the House of Butehamon, overseer of works involved in recycling royal burials at the end of the New Kingdom. We have a relaxing lunch at the Moon Valley Restaurant before visiting the Temples of Seti I and Merenptah. (BL)
 
Day 10 - Silsila
On our quest to learn more of our artisans and architects we head south to Gebel Silsila, the great sandstone quarries on the West Bank of the Nile.  These quarries were used from the 18th Dynasty until Greco-Roman times. Here we find the rock-cut shrine of Horemheb and visit the chapels of master-builders Senenmut and Hapuseneb. We have a lunch box from the Winter Palace today and we return to our hotel late afternoon. (BL)
 
Day 11 - Architect Senenmut
Once again we cross the Nile and this time take the road to Deir el Bahri. Our first visit will be to the Tomb of Senenmut, steward and architect of Queen Hatshepsut. We have a special permit for entry to this tomb with its remarkable astronomical ceiling - evidence of Senenmut’s exceptional architectural and design innovations. We continue with a tour of Hatshepsut’s Mortuary Temple set beneath the cliffs close by. We have lunch at Moon Valley Restaurant and then head to the Nobles Tombs. First to the tomb of Rekhmire and then the  famous ‘Tomb of Vines’ of Mayor of Thebes, Sennofer.  Next to Ramose with its beautiful classical and Amarna style reliefs. We also have time to enter Userhat and Khaemhat. (BL)
 
Day 12 - The Kings' Valley
This morning we visit the Valley of the Kings with plenty of time to enter the 3 tombs of your choice from those open on the day. You will be able to buy extra tickets on arrival at the Valley for special entry to any extra open tombs such as Tutankhamun or Seti I. We return to the hotel at lunchtime and you have a free afternoon. Time to enjoy the amenities at the hotel, wander along the Corniche or visit the souk. (B)
 
Day 13 - Monday 15th October 2018
We take our private transfer to Luxor Airport for the direct flight home arriving early afternoon. (B)
 
 
Campbell is Curator of Egypt and Sudan at Manchester Museum, one of the UK’s largest Egyptology collections, and is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Liverpool. He is the author of ‘Pocket Museum: Ancient Egypt’ (Thames & Hudson, 2018), exploring Egyptian culture through 200 individual objects.
 
(B) = Breakfast (BL) = Breakfast and Lunch (BLD) = Breakfast Lunch and Dinner
 

ARTISANS AND ARCHITECTS The officials behind the monuments

 

DEPARTURE DATE: Wednesday 3rd October 2018

TOUR CODE: AWAA 031018

 

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