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Durham University

Department of Archaeology

Ancient Egypt Summer School, August 2019: Hands-on!

Department of Archaeology, Durham University

12th August to 16th August 2019

The Department of Archaeology, Durham University is running a 1-week short course in Ancient Egypt, 12th August – 16th August 2019

Ancient Egyptian civilization lasted for over 3000 years in North-East Africa and we offer you a rare opportunity to get to know Ancient Egypt’s untold stories over 40 hours in North-East England!

Through practical hands-on sessions with archival records and ancient Egyptian objects hosted at Durham university’s libraries and museums we will untangle the many past and present stories woven within ancient Egypt’s material culture.

From the hopes and fears of the ancient Egyptian women and men who lived by its Nile valley, the 19th century Egyptian workers and archaeologists, European excavators and collectors to the modern Egyptians reviving ancient Egypt daily, the course will help you trace ancient Egypt’s full story.

You will also gain an insight on the latest methods and resources used by archaeologists and Egyptologists today to document and decipher its monuments and literature and record its landscape through satellite imagery. The course will be culminate in a final discussion session attempting to answer today’s most pressing question: Who owns ancient Egypt?

We aim to find a way to understand Ancient Egypt as well as those who have studied it and those who revive it every day and to discover something about ourselves in the process.

Who is the course aimed at?

All people are welcome from within or outside archaeology and Egyptology, and those in retirement looking to continue/pursue their interests. International applicants are very welcome.

Applicants need to be 18 years of age or over.

What will the course cover?

The course will cover:

  • The history and culture of Ancient Egypt;
  • The history of the recording and discovery of archaeological material
  • The history of ancient Egyptian collections in the UK
  • Introduction to modern Egyptian history
  • Basic principles and application of Egyptian language and hieroglyphic script;
  • Everyday problems and possible solutions in Ancient Egypt;
  • Religious life and the afterlife;
  • Current work and research on Egypt;
  • Modern relationships with Ancient Egypt and stakeholders in the Egyptian past.

The course will consist of a combination of lectures, seminar-type discussions (where you have the chance to offer your own opinions), object-handling sessions in the Oriental Museum, document and rare book study from the University Library and Palace Green archives and tea-breaks/receptions/lunch breaks where you can talk to the course presenters face-to-face.

Language of the course

The course will be taught in English by:

  • Ms Heba abd el Gawad. Heba Abd el-Gawad is an Egyptian Egyptologist finishing her PhD at Durham University (UK) funded by Egypt’s Helwan University. She has taught various ancient Egyptian courses in Egypt and UK. She also led various curatorial roles in the UK including co-curating Two Temple Place’s 2016 Beyond Beauty: Transforming the body in ancient Egypt exhibition, project curator of the British Museum’s Asyut Project and more recently has guest curated Listen to her! Turning up the Volume on Egypt’s Ordinary Women at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology. She specialises in ancient Egypt’s multicultural history, the history of Egyptian archaeology with particular focus on the British collection and distribution of finds between 1880-1980 and the history of ancient Egyptian collections in the UK.

Applicants should have a good command of English to get the most out of the course.

Brief course timetable

Teaching will begin on Monday 12th August at 10.00 am in a lecture room near the Department of Archaeology, Durham University (CG60). Teaching will take place from Monday to Friday, beginning at 9.30 am and ending by 5.00 pm. Before and after the course we are happy to suggest places to visit in and around Durham, which is an excellent centre for many museums and archaeological sites in Northumberland, Yorkshire and Scotland.

What is the cost of the course?

The basic fee for the 5 day course is £400. This covers all tuition and teaching materials, entry to the Oriental Museum, teas/coffees throughout the course, a start-of-course welcome reception (12th August), an end-of-course social event (16th August), and an informal attendance certificate. Participants must provide their own lunches.

Is accommodation available?

Yes, you can stay in University accommodation or find private lodging (via University accommodation in one of our colleges will cost an additional £300 covering 6 nights bed and breakfast accommodation (single), from the 11th to 16th August inclusive. Evening meals are not included.

Fee for course inc. welcome and end of course receptions


With B&B accommodation 6 nights*


How do I apply to attend this course?

We have 20 places available for the course in August 2019.

Applications should be made on the form downloadable at the bottom of this page, and submitted to by 15th July.

Payment for the course

Once you have received notification that you have been accepted, the full course payment deadline will due before the 31st July 2019. You will be notified on acceptance of how to pay your fees. In case of withdrawal, a full refund (minus an £150 administration fee) can be made available until the 31st July 2019. After this date all fees and accommodation costs are non-refundable.


Please note that it is the responsibility of the applicant to arrange their visa, should they require one. Applicants should also arrange their own travel and health insurance.

Please contact either Dr Penny Wilson ( or Ms Louise Gascoigne ( for further information.