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Wonderful Things: The Life, Death and Treasures of Tutankhamun

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2022 marks 100 years! Hear the fabulous story of King Tut, Howard Carter – and the miraculous discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb!

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Don’t miss this engrossing 8-week journey into the greatest archaeological discovery of all time.

In November 1922 the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb and magnificent gold treasures shook the world. This minor king of Egypt died before his 20th birthday and yet his legacy is one of the most extraordinary in all of ancient history.

In this special in-depth art and history course, we tell the fascinating story of King Tut and learn the astonishing details of his life, death and tomb discovery by Carter and Lord Carnarvon. We’ll also explore the most remarkable of his 3000 treasures – penetrating the secrets behind these true masterpieces of ancient art – which today are being conserved and restored for the new Grand Egyptian Museum.


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Week 1: Egypt Before Tutankhamun: Revolution, New religion & The Rebel King Akhenaten & Nefertiti’s Kingdom

We learn about the storied Amarna Period (which is one of the most controversial and fascinating eras of Egyptian history). We will meet Tut’s infamous father, King Akhenaten (the first monotheist?), his beautiful stepmom Nefertiti -- and learn about the unique time and place he was born.

Week 2: The short & legendary life & death of Tut

Today we will look at the young king, his pastimes, exploits and changing world. What did he achieve in his brief life? What monuments can give us clues? How did he handle the massive “reformation” after The Amarna period through volatile times?

Week 3: Valley of the Kings – the history of Tutankhamun’s legendary burial site

For nearly 500 years (c.1500 to 1000 BCE) The Valley of the Kings was the place where the Pharaohs of Egypt hid their tombs. We will enter the valley where you learn how this burial ground began, how it evolved and why it ended. Penetrate the labyrinthine passageways and decipher some of the secret texts on the walls -- strange images and hieroglyphics that remain vividly colourful 3000 years later. We will look at the history, the kings, the talented workmen... and the religious beliefs behind this fabled place - one of the world's greatest ancient sites.

Week 4: Carter Before Tutankhamun

This week we will learn about Howard Carter and his life as a young artist and archaeologist. We then trace events leading up to his great discovery and learn about why the tomb was overlooked for so long. We’ll bring alive exciting tales about the turn of the 20th-century excavations in sites across Egypt including the fabled Valley of the Kings!

Week 5: The great Tut Tomb discovery by Howard Carter & Carnarvon – part one, the discovery

We will relive that fateful day when Carter discovered the first step - and realized he was at the doorway to Tut’s tomb. We will also begin entering the tomb alongside Carter and Carnarvon and explore the wonderful things they discovered. This class will cover the moments before during and in days after the discovery and begin to explore the treasures of the tomb

We will delve into the priceless objects and masterpieces, like the thrones, chariots, statues, jewelry and even clothing!

Week 6: Unwrapping the Mysteries of Egyptian Mummification

This week we take a break from exploring Tut’s tomb to learn about the mortuary practices of the Ancient Egyptians. Why did they mummify their dead? How did they do this? Was it just royals or were common people mummified too? What were ancient Egyptian funerals like? We will address all these questions and look at the mummification and funereal practices at the time of Tutankhamun’s death.

Week 7: The Burial Chamber Revealed

In this class, we will finally enter Tut’s burial chamber with Howard Carter to reveal its secrets. We begin with a look at the strange events around Carnarvon’s death and the curse of Tut. One by one, we will explore the great shrines and then the three coffins to finally reveal Tut’s mummy and stunning gold and lapis mask.

Week 8: What Killed Tut? -- and Tutmania

In our final class, we will look at some of the mysteries behind the tomb and mummy. Were these objects really Tut’s? Was this tomb intended for him? How did he really die – and why is his mummy in such a terrible state of preservation? We will also take a look at the beautiful reliefs in his burial chamber.

From there we will look at the phenomenon of Tutmania that erupted after the discovery. How did the world begin to celebrate King Tut – and why such a fervor in the 1920s?


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Laura Ranieri Roy bio

Laura is the founder and director of Ancient Egypt Alive (2013) and its emerging affiliates Ancient Greece Alive and Ancient Worlds Alive. Her vision is to educate and inspire history lovers about great civilizations through learning events, online resources and travel experiences.

Laura holds a Master’s degree in Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations and Ancient Egypt from the University of Toronto and has excavated at the ancient Greek site of Apollonia in Bulgaria, and in Egypt at Amarna and South Asasif (Luxor). She creates specialized tours and has travelled to Egypt at least 12 times.

Laura is also a writer and presenter (past TV host) who lectures widely on ancient Egypt and ancient civilizations and has taught across North America at museums, historical societies, and academic conferences. www.ancientegyptalive.com


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What they are saying about this course:

“I have attended a great many lectures, talks and so on Egypt, but yours is the first one that has been comprehensible.” - Bill
“I am thoroughly enjoying your lectures on ancient Egypt… you make the lectures very alive. Thanks for making a complicated history of the pharoahs so easy to follow." - Julie
“I would like to join the chorus of other members of your class to say "thank you" for the wonderful course on King Tut and the treasures found in his burial site. The course has given me much appreciation for an ancient civilization that I was not fully aware of nor of the tremendous effort it takes to uncover sites that hides such civilizations….I regret being unable to go to Egypt to see these sites for myself but this has been the next best thing!“ - Yoko
“Your enthusiasm on the topic of Egypt and archaeology is so contagious. I am thoroughly enjoying your weekly lectures …Thank you for broadening my mind and increasing my brain cells too :) ” - Michele
“Laura-these last eight weeks have been wonderful. You obviously love your work and Egypt.Thank you for giving such a fabulous picture of Egypt, the findings of the tombs, and so many great stories. I almost felt I was there with you.” – Jean
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Organizer Ancient Egypt Alive

Organizer of Wonderful Things: The Life, Death and Treasures of Tutankhamun

Ancient Egypt Alive! seeks to celebrate Egypt’s great past and to educate through a variety of vibrant and interactive learning events, happenings, tours, fundraising efforts and creative resources. 

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