Posted March 5th, 2014 by Dylan and filed in News
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Well it never rains, but it pours, as the saying goes.

On Saturday September 6th (2014), I will be driving down to Bournemouth to speak to the Wessex Ancient Egypt Society. The talk, Hidden Treasures of Ancient Egypt, has turned out to be very popular, and seeks out interesting curiosities in familiar sites in Luxor and some less frequented places.

The following day (Sunday Sept. 7th) I am speaking in Witham to the Essex Egyptology Group on The King’s Valley in the Amarna Period which looks at why the best survivals in the Valley of the Kings are tombs from around the Amarna period.

Curiously, this exact same sequence of talks to Wessex and Essex on consecutive days has occurred twice before over the years. What is different this time is the addition of another talk on the Monday (Sept. 8th).

This will be the first appearance of the specially revamped talk Egypt and Rome: Empires in Parallel to the Manchester Ancient Egypt Society. The talk illustrates the many themes common to the Roman empire and the Egyptian (New Kingdom period) empire, through both historical events and iconography.

Plymouth Day School – Amarna Burials

Posted March 4th, 2014 by Dylan and filed in News
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On Saturday March 1st (2014) I set off very early to drive down to Plymouth and deliver a Day School on the Amarna Period. I gave four talks specifically focussed on the history as revealed through burials.

Firstly, we looked at the tale of the Tombs in the Royal Wadi at Amarna in The Tomb of Akhenaten and the Golden Ring of Nefertiti – in which we rescued the probable truth from a mass of myth and misinformation.

Secondly, in Starving for the Aten?, we looked at the excavations by Barry Kemp in the Southern Cemetery at Amarna, and compared these burials to those discovered in Workmen’s Villages at Amarna, Deir el Medina, Illahun etc.; and whilst despairing of finding useful parallels, found interesting insights into how food and goods were distributed amongst the populace in the City of Akhet-Aten.

Thirdly, we turned to Luxor to look at the history of The Valley of the Kings in the Amarna Period, with insights as to why so many of the interesting and important discoveries were made by Theodore Davis in the King’s Valley date to this period.

Fourthly, in Pharaoh’s Magic Wand?, we critically examined just how much (or little) the recent studies employing DNA and CAT scans on royal mummies have added to our knowledge of the Amarna Royal family, and how questionable were other identifications, such as that supposedly made of Hatshepsut.

This was a well-attended event, which generated a lot of questions from an involved audience.

I would like to again thank everyone at the Plymouth Society for the fabulous welcome and wonderful hospitality I received.

ROME 2014 Now Running – Details

Posted December 22nd, 2013 by Dylan and filed in News
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This tour is now running with 6 people confirmed. As promised, key details are provided below.

Flights: Monarch departing Birmingham, UK Wed June 11th 2014 at 06.45, arriving Rome Fiumicino at 10.30am.
Departing Rome Fiumicino Wed June 18th 2014, arriving Birmingham 13.20.
Transfer to/from 4 Star Hotel Genio, Nr Piazza Navona, B&B 7 nights.

Price £880 per person, based on two sharing twin/double room; £1275 for single room use (sorry, singles pay full room rate). In addition, there is local tax of 5 Euros per night per person payable locally.

The price includes trips to Tivoli to see Hadrian’s Villa and the Villa D’Estes; to Palestrina to see the famous Nile Mosaic, and to Ostia Antica.
Meals other than breakfast, site entries etc. are not included.

Sightseeing is entirely optional, of course. We will have a provisional itinerary for the day which people are free to follow or diverge from. Because we are located in the old city there will be opportunity to visit/revisit sites at leisure outside the daily schedule. Similarly, it is hoped most of us will wish to dine together on most occasions, but not, of course, necessary.
Please see TOURS page for proposed sites.

Please e-mail me at if interested.

Imminent Talks at Stafford and Nottingham

Posted August 3rd, 2013 by Dylan and filed in News
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Owing to having agreed to stand in at short notice, I find myself speaking for the Staffordshire Egyptology Society and the Society for the Study of Ancient Egypt during the next few days (August 2013).
The talk at Stafford is on Wednesday August 7th 7.30 (Contact; and that at Nottingham, Mechanics Institute, NG1 4EZ (for the SSAE) is on Saturday August 10th 2pm (Contact:, 0114 2581856).
The talk in both cases is The Tomb-robbers of No-Amun: Power Struggles Under Ramesses IX, being a thorough examination of the ancient papyri and locations on the ground at Luxor.

Daughters of Isis 2014. Feb sold out – Now November

Posted June 24th, 2013 by Dylan and filed in News
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The Daughters of Isis Tour, which I am leading for Ancient World Tours in February 7th to 17th 2014, sold out within a week of being opened for bookings. I am sorry that several friends who have travelled with me before were unable to get on this trip.

However, I am happy to be able to confirm that the tour will run again in from 14th to 24th November 2014.

Daughters of Isis focusses on the great ladies of ancient Egypt, and has Special Permission to enter the rarely seen, brilliantly decorated tomb of Nefertari, wife of Ramesses II.

Other highlights (in no particular order) include the colossal statue of Merytamun at Akhmim; the Giza Pyramids; the site of the Labyrinth at Hawara; the tombs at Beni Hassan; the tombs of Meir; the tomb of Akhenaten and the city of Amarna; the temples of Abydos; the Red Chapel (and newly opened White Chapel – the Netjer Menu) of Hatshepsut at Karnak; the Valley of the Kings and the walk of the ancient tomb-builders over the pass to their village at Deir el Medina; the nobles’ tombs, including the beautiful tomb of Vizier Ramose; the figure of Cleopatra on the walls of Dendera temple; the spectacular temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el Bahari; the fabulous temple of Medinet Habu; Luxor Temple; the tombs of the tomb-builders; the colossi of Memnon; the pyramid at Lahun; the nobles’ tombs at Amarna; the pyramid at Meidum; the tombs of the wives and princes of Ramesses III in the Valley of the Queens; etc.

There is an optional (highly recommended) tour to see the wonderful tombs, chapels, and city at El Kab; the tomb of Ankhtifi at Moalla; and the temple of Montu at Tod.

There will be opportunity to focus on Queens, Goddesses, and the God’s Wives of Amun at Giza, Karnak, Luxor etc.

Price £2880. Single Supplement £214. Ground Only prices available.

This tour is likely to sell out quite quickly after opening for bookings. If you are interested it is advised that you contact Ancient World Tours to put your name on the waiting list.
Tel: 0844 357 9494 UK
+44 844 357 9494 INT

The Egyptian Labyrinth updated for the AWT Conference 8th June 2013

Posted May 29th, 2013 by Dylan and filed in News
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I have been asked to speak on the Egyptian Labyrinth to the Conference held by Ancient World Tours at the Roberts Theatre, University College, London on June 8th-9th 2013.
The talk has been updated to take account of recent discoveries at the Hawara site, and to include additional images which give a better impression of how it might have appeared. Hence the new title:

See details under The Egyptian Labyrinth in Talks.

For Conference, contact Ancient World Tours at: 0844 357 9494.


Posted May 4th, 2013 by Dylan and filed in News
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Departing 7th February 2014 for 11 days, with ANCIENT WORLD TOURS led by Dylan Bickerstaffe.

With a special emphasis on Queens and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt, this tour visits many ‘must see’ sites including the Pyramids of Giza; the Labyrinth at Hawara; Akhenaten’s city and tomb at Amarna; the colossal statue of Queen Merytamun at Akhmim; the beautiful Temple of Seti I and the enigmatic Oseiron at Abydos; The Temple of Hathor at Dendera with the unique depiction of Cleopatra; the Valley of the Kings, and the spectacular walk over the hills to the tomb-Builders Village at Deir el Medina; the tomb of Nefertari; Hatshepsut’s Temple at Deir el Bahari; the Tomb of Ramose; Medinet Habu; the Colossi of Memnon; Luxor Temple; and Karnak.

Nofret, Hetepheres, Meritites, Henutsen, Meresankh, Neferuptah, Sobekneferu, Ahmose Nefertari, Senisoneb, Ahmes, Hatshepsut, Neferure, Sitia, Meryetre, Mutemwia, Tiye, Nefertiti, Meritaten, Meketaten, Ankhesenpaaten/amun, Neferneferure tasherit, Beketaten, Teye, Mutnodjmet, Nefertari, Isitnofret, Meritamun, Bintanath, Takhat, Twosret, Tyti, Maatkare, Henttawy, Amenerdis, Shepenwepet, Ankhenesneferibre, Nitocris, Cleopatra.

Isis Nephthys Maat Nut Heqet Seshat
Amentet Meretseger Hathor Sekhmet Tauret Paket

For further details see the TOURS pages on this site. Contact Ancient World Tours at: 0844 357 9494, visit:


Posted March 5th, 2013 by Dylan and filed in News
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 I have recently updated and improved two of my talks.

 Why Sinuhe Ran Away: Conspiracies at the Middle Kingdom Court was, in any case, a quite a new talk, but I found a number of new images to illustrate the story, and was able to confirm at Worthing (Sussex Egyptology Society) on Saturday 23/2/2013 that it now runs a little more smoothly.

The Tale of Sinuhe is arguably the greatest of all ancient Egyptian literary works, and may be admired for the many subtle literary devices employed in it’s composition, but it has an additional layer of interest in the light it throws upon real events.

Specifically these relate to the fate of the last 11th Dynasty king, Mentuhotep IV, and the untimely demise of his successor, Amenemhet I, founder the 12th Dynasty. Sinuhe is but one of a number of texts that bear upon this period, and offers a great deal of additional insight through the layers of meaning built into the story, and offering clues through subtle innuendo.

 Seekers of the Sacred Stone was previously only available as a slide show, but – after some considerable labour – has now been revamped as a Powerpoint presentation with much additional material, and was successfully (re)launched at Plymouth (Plymouth and District Egyptology Society) on 2/3/2013.

The talk examines the work of ancient expeditions into the Egyptian Eastern desert to extract special stones – in particular, the purple porphyry (prized by the Romans), and the sacred Bekhen stone (greywacke), revered from the earliest times. The images are largely drawn from visits to the sites in recent times, which uncover many intriguing puzzles along the way.


Posted June 5th, 2011 by Dylan and filed in News
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PREMIERE. To what extent have DNA tests supported or superseded existing techniques in identifying royal mummies? This new talk will be given for the first time at The Library, Beetwell Street, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, UK, at 7pm on June 13th 2011.

The recent published findings will be placed in the context of previous work on the royal mummies, and the methods by which identifications were arrived at through DNA will be demonstrated. You will be able to decide for yourself how strong you believe the identifications of various relatives of Tutankhamun really are!

 I look forward to seeing you there.