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The Pyramids of Egypt: Meaning, Making & Metaphor - 6 Week Online Course

The Pyramids of Egypt: Meaning, Making & Metaphor - 6 Week Online Course

Date(s) - 01/02/2022 - 02/06/2022
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

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$91.19 USD
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by Ancient Egypt Alive

A captivating Egyptologist-led ZOOM course that unravels age-old mysteries around the pyramids of Egypt. Who built them, how, when and why?

About this event

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This engaging learning series will be recorded to be watched and enjoyed for those who can’t attend leach class live! It’s an immersive course run on ZOOM that will include beautiful pictures, videos, graphics, Q&As throughout at the end of the lecture — and a recommended bibliography.

Enduring. Confounding. Awe-Inspiring! The Great Pyramid of Khufu is the last surviving wonder of the world – and it is just one of more than 100 pyramids remaining in Egypt, an enduring symbol of eternity.

Why and when were these great structures made? What were the hidden meanings behind their magnificence? What are some of the stories around their construction — and the fascinating kings that built them?

This course, taught by Canadian Egyptologist Laura Ranieri, will serve to dispel some of the mysteries and myths surrounding the pyramids of Egypt – and reveal some surprising truths behind these awe-inspiring edifices. Students will get an intriguing and insightful introduction to the history, architecture/design, builders and chronology of the Egyptian pyramids.

We will also learn about the legendary kings, architects, archaeologists, builders and explorers who are essential players in pyramid history. We’ll also cover some exciting discovery news around pyramid archaeology, restoration — and the new Grand Egyptian Museum.

Why take it?: Inspiration, Information — and a wealth of shared insights!

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Meet Your Instructor

Laura Ranieri is an Egyptologist (MA University of Toronto), writer and founder-director of Ancient Egypt Alive ( She has excavated in Egypt at the site of Amarna and Asasif – and has developed/led specialized Egyptian history tours. As an educator, she has presented extensively on ancient Egypt at museums, symposiums and libraries across North America.

This course was run successfully in 2017 through Ryerson University’s Life Institute in Toronto and is being enhanced and updated with up-to-date discoveries.

Course Breakdown

Week 1 – Pyramids: Sun, Symbolism and Significance – Jan 2, 2022

In the first week, we look at the evolution of pyramids. Why did Egyptians build these great structures? What was the original idea behind these wonders – and what were some of the inspirations, purposes and symbolic meanings for their construction?

Week 2 – The History of Pyramid Building in Egypt Part 1 – Early Mastabas, Step, Bent, Red & Meidum Pyramids – Jan 9, 2022

The history of pyramid building in Egypt. part 1 – This week we look at the rise of the pyramid up to the end of the 4th Dynasty of Egypt in the Old Kingdom. We will visit some of the earliest and most famous pyramids and learn about their kings, architects and many fascinating design elements. Key question probed: How did the pyramid evolve over time

Week 3 – The History of Pyramid Building in Egypt Part 2 – Great Pyramids of Giza – Jan 16, 2022

The history of pyramid building in Egypt – part 2. Now that we have explored the beginnings we will look at the apex of the pyramid building at Giza in the 4th dynasty. We will meet the kings who built the most famous structures and We will also look at the pyramid complex – with all its sophisticated features. How did the pyramid complex function?

Week 4 – Pyramid Construction & Builders: Myth and Reality – Jan 23, 2022

Pyramid construction: Myth and reality. This week we will take a probing look at the methods for construction employed by the pyramid builders. With the Great Pyramid of Giza as our example, we will look at the materials and techniques employed in raising a great wonder of the world. Pyramid builders & pyramid towns: We will also look at the amazing discovery of Dr. Mark Lehner and Dr. Zahi Hawass at Giza that answered many age-old questions about who built the pyramids. We will explore their findings and learn about the men behind the pyramids

Week 5 – The Pyramid After Giza: Magical Texts, Mudbrick and Sun Worship – Jan 30, 2022

We will return to our chronological look at the pyramids of Egypt. Continuing from last week, we continue with pyramids built between the 5th dynasty to the New Kingdom. We will learn about some of the most intriguing later pyramids, including those with texts. Meet their kings, architects and explore their now standardized design elements. What are the reasons for the decline of the great pyramid age? And how were some of the ideas carried on?

Week 6 – Pyramid Explorers Through the Ages – Feb 6, 2022

New Pyramid Discoveries — and Pyramid Exploration through the ages: In this final class, we will learn the latest discovery news out of Egypt and take a look at the new Giza Grand Egyptian Museum near the Pyramids. We’ll also take recount colourful stories of the early explorers who travelled from far and wide – and sought to penetrate the mysteries of the pyramids. From Greek historian Herodotus through Napoleon to Sir Flinders Petrie and beyond.. we will take a whirlwind tour through the fascinating early history of pyramid exploration. Finally, we will look quickly at what is new in Egypt and the Giza plateau – including the coming of the Egyptian museum.

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