We are delighted to welcome back the Royal Ontario Museum’s Gayle Gibson for a four-week course beginning in October 2018. The theme revolves around Widows, Orphans and tough-minded Mothers: the Early New Kingdom. Register online here.


Wednesday evenings in October (10, 17, 24, 31) – 7 to 9 pm


Room 200B
4 Bancroft Ave, Toronto (UofT)

How much?

  • $ 100 for SSEA member
  • $ 125 for Non-member
  • $ 50 for Students

To express interest in this course, please email us with your contact information at: sseatoronto@gmail.com

To register for this course, please email us with your contact information and send a cheque payable to SSEA Toronto by mail to:

SSEA Toronto
PO Box 19004 RPO Walmer
360A Bloor St W
Toronto, ON M5S 3C9

Course Outline

One of the extraordinary things about the New Kingdom is that we are able to see the coffins, grave goods, and even the mummified faces of the great kings and queens of the period. Meeting the Royal Mummies and learning a little of their bio-histories will be an integral part of this course.

Week I: Crocodile Kings, the Hyksos, and an empty throne.

The Sixteenth Dynasty of Thebes ruled under the authority of foreign Hyksos in the North, but began to re-establish the power of the South. With a change of dynasty, Theban kings of the Seventeenth Dynasty fought actively to reunite their country. Absence in battle and death on the battle field meant that the power of rulership was in the hands of the royal women. When King Sequenre Tao was killed on the battlefield, QueenTeti-Sheri held the South together, raised the next generation of kings, and may even have appeared on the battlefield herself.

By the end of the Sixth Dynasty, the age of great pyramids was over. Provincial strong men controlled local resources and built elaborate tombs for themselves.  According to the Dialogue of Ipuwer, “Laughter is ruined, and no longer sounds.  There is only groaning throughout the land, mixed with laments.”  What caused the fall of the great dynasty of Memphis?  Was it really such a bad thing?

Week II: Uniting the Two Lands: Queen Mothers and Golden Flies

During the struggle for independence, Teti-Sheri, Aahotep, and Ahmnes-Neferatri consolidated the kingdom and change the way the office of Queen was perceived, and, more importantly, financed. More than five hundred years after her death, Ahmnes-Nefertari was a beloved goddess in Deir el Medina, the village of the Royal Workmen. With such women at his side and at his back, Ahmose founded the New Kingdom, Egypt’s period of greatest expansion and wealth.

Week III: South of the Border

Ahmose’s job was only half done when the Hyksos rulers abandoned Egypt; the Kingdom of Kerma in Nubia still threatened his control over the South and the trade routes to West Central Africa. Fortunately, at El Kab, governors who spent their youth following the king into battle left accounts of their campaigns and provide vital background information as to the progress of the early Eighteenth Dynasty.

Week IV: Hatshepsut’s Path to Kingship

Mut, Goddess of Sovereignty, and Amun, King of the Gods, were Hatshepsut’s allies in her consolidation of power. In addition to divine aid, Hatshepsut gathered brilliant and dedicated civil servants around herself. King’s Daughter, King’s Sister and Great Royal Wife, she was a royal partner in civic and religious sphere long before her coronation as king.

About the Instructor

Gayle Gibson is the former President of the SSEA and is a current trustee. She was a teacher at the Royal Ontario Museum and is now a Department Associate with the Egyptian Department at the ROM. She has lectured widely in North America and is well known from many television appearances.

(Photo: Statue of Hatshepsut from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)

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