Day 5

Today begins with a drive to the northern end of the Theban necropolis and the mortuary temple of Rameses the Great’s father, Seti I. This seldom visited temple is the first one of the 19th Dynasty as Seti’s father Rameses I didn’t have time to build one. Seti I dedicated the temple to his father and the god, Amun-Ra. It was meant to compliment his greatest monument, the Hypostyle Hall within the Karnak temple complex across the river.

A short way from here lie the tombs of the Dra Abu el-Naga, home to many discoveries in 2017. We will get to explore some newly opened tombs.

Time for lunch and also the opportunity to visit the Temple of Merneptah. Intense restoration has restored some idea of the layout of this 19th Dynasty temple, and it was here that Petrie discovered what is known as the Israel stele. The small, but interesting museum shows just how much stone was looted from the temple of Amenhotep III.  

Moving west we will start up the road leading to Hatshepsut’s Temple, stopping to take in the ongoing archaeological dig that is the Asasif. Here we will walk across the site to the tomb of Keruef, steward to Queen Tiye with its depictions of Amenhotep III at his jubilee festivals alongside his son Amenhotep IV. We can also visit the 26th Dynasty tomb of Pasaba.

In a straight line west from Karnak through the temple of Seti I lies the Holy of Holies, Djesr-Djseru, the magnificent mortuary temple of Hatshepsut, possibly Egypt’s most famous female pharaoh. Much restoration has been done, notably in recent years by the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. There is much to look at here, especially the descriptions of Hatshepsut’s voyage to the land of Punt. 

Dinner will be afloat on the Nile while we watch the sun go down behind the Theban mountains.