Forgotten Landscapes

Tutankhamun Tuesdays Public Lecture Program

Past Event: 9 August 2011

The quarries and mines of the New Kingdom pharaohs

Join Dr Elizabeth Bloxam as she explores the precious materials of Ancient Egypt.

The extraordinary use of gold in Tutankhamun’s tomb has always been one of the key aspects of his funerary regalia. Yet, our understanding of the mines and quarries from which gold and other prized resources were procured at this time is limited. The New Kingdom saw an explosion in procurement of not only gold, but other resources such as stone that held ‘solar’ associations. Quartzite, gold and other minerals that ‘glittered’ became prized resources and expeditions to procure these extended far and wide across Egypt and beyond. As the ‘ghost towns’ of antiquity, stone quarries and gold mines can reveal the often hidden side of life outside of royalty and the elite. These forgotten places and landscapes can tell us about technological innovation, logistics and the social organisation behind large-scale resource procurement. This lecture will examine the archaeological record at some key quarries and mines and discuss what these might reveal about everyday life in the New Kingdom.

Dr Elizabeth Bloxam took up the post of Lecturer in Egyptian Archaeology at Monash University in 2010 after completing five years of post-doctoral research and teaching at the Institute of Archaeology, University College, London. Her research interests lie in understanding the social organisation and logistics of ancient stone quarrying, from Prehistory into the Roman Period in Egypt and examining how changing ideological, political and religious agendas impacted on the exploitation of key material resources. She has directed fieldwork in a number of ancient quarries and mines in Egypt and is currently directing a new project in the Wadi Hammamat greywacke quarries in the Eastern Desert.

Proudly supported by University of Melbourne, Programs Partner.

Please note the Tutankhamun exhibition is not open on Tuesday evenings.


Dr Elizabeth Bloxam