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We are thrilled to have Cairo based expert in Ancient Egypt, Elhamy Elzayat MNZM, in Wellington on a short stop-over, invited to present a lecture on Pharaonic Egypt, a fascinating period in world history. Elhamy will give an outline of the importance of this prehistoric time, thus providing a background to the First Dynasty over 5,150 years ago.
The First Dynasty covers the first series of Egyptian kings to rule over a unified Egypt. Given the vastness of this topic Elhamy will focus on some significant rulers, with selected and intriguing highlights, illustrated by monuments, tombs and art of this ancient kingdom.
Snefru was the founding monarch of the 4th dynasty during the Old Kingdom and was granted kingship through marriage, unlike most kings who were declared kingship through birth right. Snefru’s Father was Khufu whom the Greeks renamed Cheops.
Snefru built at least three pyramids that survive to this day. These pyramids feature major innovations in the design and construction of pyramids built at that time.
The role of women in Pharaonic times will offer an overview of four female Pharaohs excluding the well-known Cleopatra 7th.
Mereruka, vizier to king Teti, was the first pharaoh of the 6th dynasty Old Kingdom period of Egypt. The mastaba of Mereruka is the largest and most elaborate of all the non-royal tombs in Sakkara. His tomb has 33 chambers and boasts vibrant and well preserved tomb decorations and numerous relief scenes.
The Tomb of Ramose in the Valley of the Kings is another non royal tomb. Ramose was a Governor of Thebes and Vizier during the 18th Dynasty. This large tomb features relief sculpture that many scholars believe a scene of guests at Ramose funeral banquet represents one of the best pieces of ancient art to be found in the world. Every curl of a wig, bead of a necklace and soft fold of a garment is rendered in skilled detail.
Some places mentioned are included in the itinerary for the tour to Egypt in 2019.
Elhamy Elzayat is the Cairo based Director of Innovative Travel in NZ and owner of Emeco Travel in Egypt; he pioneered travel between Egypt and Israel, running the first boat, road and air services between the two countries, flying a civilian aircraft from Cairo to Tel Aviv over Sinai.
He was Honorary Consul General of New Zealand – until New Zealand opened an embassy in Egypt – and was presented with the NZ Order of Merit by Helen Clark.
He is a key figure for tourism to the region, including former Chair of the Egyptian Tourism Federation and on the board of the Egyptian Holding Company for Tourism and Cinema, The Egyptian Holding Company for Egypt Airports and the Media City Company for Hotels. He writes and lectures worldwide, in particular on peace through tourism.
Feature image: detail from relief sculpture from the Tomb of Ramose