Kings, Courtiers, Creatures and Commoners: three millennia of funerary activity at Saqqara

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Bloomsbury Summer School
Course Title:
Kings, Courtiers, Creatures and Commoners: three millennia of funerary activity at Saqqara

The endlessly fascinating site of Saqqara provides evidence for 3,000 years of continuous funerary activity, with human burials of all social groups including royalty, the nobility and ordinary people. It has at its heart the world’s oldest stone funerary complex – Djoser’s Step Pyramid. This extremely significant archaeological site provides the unparalleled opportunity to chart human burial practices from the 1st Dynasty through to the advent of Christianity in Egypt. It is also home to the Serapeum, the burial catacomb of the cult Apis bulls, as well as the largest of Egypt’s known animal necropoleis, where millions of animals were deposited as votive offerings. This course will cover the history of human activity at Saqqara throughout Dynastic Egypt, incorporating archival, geophysical, archaeological, documentary and artefactual evidence, investigated using a variety of modern techniques.

Lidija McKnight’s research has focussed on animal mummies from the Sacred Animal Necropolis at North Saqqara. Iwona Kozieradzka-Ogunmakin is a bioarchaeologist, specialising in human remains. Her main research has been focused on the ancient population of Saqqara. Together the two course directors will bring their research and expertise on the archaeology of Saqqara to BSS. This course will include guest speakers (Dr Campbell Price, Professor Geoffrey Martin and others), and sessions taught in The British Museum and UCL’s Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, including special access to objects.
Period2 Jul 20186 Jul 2018
Event typeCourse
LocationLondon, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational


  • Saqqara
  • archaeology
  • artefacts
  • excavation
  • technologies
  • Funerary Archaeology
  • bioarchaeology