Eric's Guide to Ancient Egypt

By Eric Wells

On Going since Oct 2015 • Updated weekly

It never ceases to amaze many how much popular interest there is in Ancient Egypt. I am constantly asked questions—in and out of the classroom—like: Who built the pyramids (hint: it wasn’t aliens)? Did brothers and sisters actually get married and have sex (yes, but mostly it just royals)? Or, one of my favorites, what did ancient Egypt smell like (pretty bad)? My goal for this podcast is to create an interactive platform where anyone can ask any questions about ancient Egypt without paying the high cost of a college course, or taking the time to scour through academic publications.

All Episodes

  Direct Link   Download 24 Minutes 16 Jun 2016

In this episode of the podcast we explore the Middle Kingdom Tale of Shipwrecked Sailor; where we encounter a lucky sailor, a grumpy count, and a giant golden snake.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 14 Minutes 06 Jun 2016

As many of you know, last week UCLA Professor William Klug was murdered by a former student in his office. We know now that the student then committed suicide, but at the time we thought UCLA was in the midst of a mass shooting. As much as I tried, I just couldn’t bring myself to … Continue reading Shooting at UCLA →. . .

  Direct Link   Download 40 Minutes 01 Jun 2016

Egyptian archaeology is full of interesting characters. In this episode of the podcast we’ll discuss the birth of Egyptian archaeology by looking at two unique figures: Giovanni Belzoni, the circus strong man turned archaeologist; and William Flinders Petrie, the man who measured the Great Pyramid in red underwear and a pink tutu.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 31 Minutes 24 May 2016

With another plane crash, which appears to be an act of terrorism, we’ll discuss terrorism in Egypt. Is Egypt safe? Why do terrorists target tourists, and tourist sites? We’ll go over the history of terror attacks on tourists in Egypt in the past few decades, and discuss what this might to Egypt and its economy.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 36 Minutes 16 May 2016

Depending on how you look at it, Egyptology as an academic discipline is thousands of years old, or less than two-hundred. In this episode of the podcast we’ll examine the first Egyptologists and the birth of Egyptology as an academic field.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 16 Minutes 12 May 2016

A new discovery has shed some light on the practice of tattooing in ancient Egypt, and has us all rethinking how Egyptians chose to decorate their bodies. We’ll look at the history of tattooing ancient Egypt, and look at the new evidence in this episode of Eric’s Guide to Ancient Egypt.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 17 Minutes 09 May 2016

As the end of a three day conference in Cairo draws to a close, there’s more drama (and less answers) about the hidden chambers in Tut’s tomb. I’ll break down the latest news from Cairo, and discuss where we go from here.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 6 Minutes 05 May 2016

New scans using cosmic rays are allowing Egyptologists and scientists to look inside they pyramids for the first time. We’ll discuss this technology and results in this episode of Eric’s Guide to Ancient Egypt.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 46 Minutes 02 May 2016

In this episode of the podcast we’ll explore the first tale of Setne. Setne, a son of Ramesses the Great and High Priest of Ptah at Memphis, was known as a powerful and wise priest and magician. In our story he battles a rival magician and scours the land in search for a magical book … Continue reading The Tale of Setne Khamwas →. . .

  Direct Link   Download 40 Minutes 28 Apr 2016

In this episode I’ll break down how I travel Egypt, how I think you should travel Egypt, and what are the must see locations. This is the podcast for anyone who wants to go to Egypt now, or in the future!. . .

  Direct Link   Download 56 Minutes 25 Apr 2016

In this episode of the podcast we’ll discuss the Israelite Exodus from ancient Egypt. Were the ancient Hebrews slaves to the pharaohs? We’ll break down the evidence in this episode of Eric’s Guide to Ancient Egypt.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 34 Minutes 20 Apr 2016

Most people know that the ancient Egyptians loved their pets, but their relationship with animals was much more complicated than that. Some animals were feared, while others were venerated. Select animals were treated as living gods, while millions of others were slaughtered. In this episode of the podcast we’ll examine the ancient Egyptian attitudes towards … Continue reading Animals in Ancient Egypt →. . .

  Direct Link   Download 5 Minutes 14 Apr 2016

In this quick bonus episode of the podcast I review the movie Gods of Egypt.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 41 Minutes 11 Apr 2016

Let’s face it, the ancient world was not a great place for the ladies. In most ancient societies (and some modern ones), women were treated as objects that were used to cement political alliances or valued only for their sexuality and childbearing potential. However, ancient Egypt seems to be an exception. Women in ancient Egypt … Continue reading Women in Ancient Egypt →. . .

  Direct Link   Download 27 Minutes 06 Apr 2016

Sex was a central component in Ancient Egyptian mythology and religion. In this episode of the podcast we’ll explore how sex brought the world into existence, and how the ancient Egyptians used sex to defeat death.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 18 Minutes 04 Apr 2016

More news on the tomb of King Tut. With a new Minister of Antiquities and Tourism, there is some skepticism about the early results, prompting new set of scans. The Ministry of Antiquities has started backing away from their earlier claims, and appears to be lowering expectations. We’ll break it down on this episode of … Continue reading Another Tutdate! →. . .

  Direct Link   Download 46 Minutes 28 Mar 2016

Why did ancient people believe in magic? What sort of magic did they practice? For the ancient Egyptians, magic was a natural force to that was meant to be harnessed. It was given to mankind to help them deal with the uncertainty of life. In this episode of the podcast we’ll explore how magic, along … Continue reading Magic and Medicine in Ancient Egypt →. . .

  Direct Link   Download 42 Minutes 21 Mar 2016

As we continue our study of the Village of Deir el-Medina and daily life in ancient Egypt, we turn our attention toward the Egyptian Economy. We’ll discuss how corruption and abuse led to the first recorded workers strike in the world, and how economic collapse resulted in the systematic plundering of royal tombs by the … Continue reading The Egyptian Economy: Strikes and Tomb Robberies →. . .

  Direct Link   Download 9 Minutes 18 Mar 2016

In this bonus episode of the podcast I’ll discuss the recent press conference regarding the hidden chambers in Tut’s tomb, as well as where we go from here. Could this be this century’s greatest archaeological discovery?. . .

  Direct Link   Download 45 Minutes 16 Mar 2016

In this episode of the podcast we’ll take a look at the notorious Paneb. Accused of theft, assault and rape (to name a few charges), Paneb’s story gives us a window into corruption and justice in ancient Egypt. We’ll see how, through bribery and intimidation, Paneb was able to rise through the ranks and institute … Continue reading Rapist, Thief, Thug: The Notorious Paneb →. . .

  Direct Link   Download 36 Minutes 07 Mar 2016

In this episode of the podcast, which is the first in a multi-part series, we’ll discuss the village of Deir el-Medina and ancient Egypt. Deir el-Medina, which was home to the artisans who built the tombs of the pharaohs in the New Kingdom, is one of best sources for the study of daily life in … Continue reading Daily Life at Deir el-Medina →. . .

  Direct Link   Download 60 Minutes 29 Feb 2016

On this episode of the podcast we explore the ancient Egyptian world of death and mummification. How did the Egyptians create mummies, and why? We’ll break down the process on this episode of Eric’s Guide to Ancient Egypt.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 57 Minutes 22 Feb 2016

On this episode of the podcast we’ll explore the life (and afterlife) of the boy king Tutankhamun. We’ll discuss his DNA testing and his supposed murder; followed by a brief update on the new explorations in his tomb and the recent scandal regarding his golden mask.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 47 Minutes 15 Feb 2016

Kara is back–and so is Emily! On this episode of the podcast we attempt to cover sex, drugs, and rock and roll in ancient Egypt. As always, whiskey is consumed as we wander our way through our genetic backgrounds, ancient drug use, sex, virginity, and the role of women in ancient Egypt. We also take … Continue reading Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll →. . .

  Direct Link   Download 46 Minutes 08 Feb 2016

In this episode of the podcast we turn our attention to Ramesses the Great’s family. We’ll explore his relationship with the great queen Nefertari, his sons, and his daughters. Finally, we’ll reflect on the pharaoh’s historical impact in an effort to determine just how great Ramesses was.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 10 Minutes 03 Feb 2016

In our first bonus episode, we explore the so-called Abydos helicopter, tank, and flying saucer. We’ll get into the evidence for advanced ancient technology on show how Ramesses the Great’s desire to put his name on everything created a modern controversy.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 38 Minutes 01 Feb 2016

In this episode of the podcast we study Ramesses the Great Builder. In order to raise himself to the level of a living god, Ramesses embarked on a campaign of construction and propaganda the likes of which the ancient world had never seen.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 52 Minutes 25 Jan 2016

As we continue our series on Ramesses the great, we turn our attention to his military career. He fought pirates, Nubains, Lybians, and many other people. However, the Battle of Kadesh proved to be his defining moment. Ramesses recorded accounts of the battle in temples, reliefs, and epic poetry. We’ll break down the action as … Continue reading Ramesses the Great Warrior and the Battle of Kadesh →. . .

  Direct Link   Download 8 Minutes 25 Jan 2016

This isn’t an episode of the show, but is more of a state of the podcast. I wanted to update all of you on the future of the show, and also get your feedback on how to make things better. You’ll notice some changes coming soon–hopefully they are for the best!. . .

  Direct Link   Download 57 Minutes 18 Jan 2016

In this episode of the podcast, we begin for our examination of Ramesses the Great. We’ll take a look at the traumatic Second Intermediate Period, which forced the ancient Egyptians to militarize, eventually leading to the creation of the Egyptian Empire. We’ll also see how the turbulent Amarna period set the stage for Ramesses I, … Continue reading Ramesses the Great, Part 1. →. . .

  Direct Link   Download 84 Minutes 11 Jan 2016

In our second interview with Dr. Kara Cooney, we begin with some whiskey and a quick update on the search for Nefertiti. Follow that with more whiskey, a discussion of Akhenaten, the psychology (or psychopathy) of ancient rulers, hidden knowledge, and round it out with a discussion of incest, harems and the role of royal … Continue reading Nefertiti, Akhenaten, and Incest, with Kara Cooney →. . .

  Direct Link   Download 26 Minutes 04 Jan 2016

The ancient Egyptian’s didn’t conceive of time as a strictly linear sequence of events. While they certainly understood the progression of time, ancient Egyptians tended to perceive of time as a series of cycles repeating themselves over and over for all eternity. Each day the sun god was born and died. Each king was a … Continue reading The Ancient Egyptian Calendar →. . .

  Direct Link   Download 19 Minutes 28 Dec 2015

The ancient Egyptians have the first recorded examples of what can be called theater in the ancient world. Various myths were reenacted at certain times of the year as both a religious festival and celebration. In this episode of the podcast we’ll discuss the the Festival of Drunkenness and it’s origins in the myth of … Continue reading The Festival of Drunkenness and the Destruction of Mankind →. . .

  Direct Link   Download 37 Minutes 21 Dec 2015

Is the story of Jesus based on the story of Horus? Death, resurrection, divine birth–at first glance there seem to be a lot of similarities, at first glance, there seem to be a lot of suspicious similarities– could the greatest story ever told actually be an Egyptian story? That’s what we’ll get into this week, … Continue reading The Horus-Jesus Connection →. . .

  Direct Link   Download 70 Minutes 14 Dec 2015

In this episode of the podcast I am joined by fellow UCLA Egyptologists Kara and Emily. With plenty of wine and whiskey in our systems, we discuss the Great Pyramid and the lost tomb of Nefertiti. Along the way we take some detours and discuss Zahi, made for TV archaeology, terrorism, and the field of … Continue reading Egyptology 101 with Kara Cooney and Emily →. . .

  Direct Link   Download 42 Minutes 07 Dec 2015

One of the most sensationalized debates in Egyptology revolves around the Sphinx. Who actually built the Sphinx? How old is it? Was the Sphinx really built by the pharaoh Kafre, or another pharaoh? Could it be 12,500 years old? We’ll get into the evidence and arguments on this episode of Eric’s Guide to Ancient Egypt.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 53 Minutes 30 Nov 2015

Two gods battling for total control of ancient Egypt–who will win? In this episode we’ll unpack the sometimes meandering myth of Horus and Seth while also talking about the role of myths in ancient Egypt. There are battles, betrayals, and, of course, sex (although probably not the way you are thinking about). It’s all about … Continue reading Horus and Seth →. . .

  Direct Link   Download 26 Minutes 23 Nov 2015

Did the ancient Egyptians practice cannibalism? Did Egyptians eat their enemies for power, and their children out of necessity? That’s the issue we’ll be delving into this week, on Eric’s Guide to Ancient Egypt.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 8 Minutes 19 Nov 2015

Where did the word Egypt come from? What does it mean? Is that what the ancient Egyptians called Egypt? What do modern day Egyptians call Egypt? We’ll get into the ancient names for Egypt, what they mean, and how we got to the name ‘Egypt’ on this episode of Eric’s Guide to Ancient Egypt.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 37 Minutes 16 Nov 2015

As our examination of Akhenaten and the Amarna period concludes, we turn our attention to Akhenaten’s family. Did Akhenaten, in an attempt to secure a pure bloodline succession, marry and impregnate his own daughters? Was he really king Tutankhamun’s father? It’s incest, intrigue, and the end of the Amarna era on this episode of Eric’s … Continue reading Akhenaten the Monster →. . .

  Direct Link   Download 19 Minutes 10 Nov 2015

Has the Great Pyramid, the only one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world to survive into the modern era, given up all of its secrets? Apparently not! Thermal scans released on November 9th seem to indicate the possibility of an undiscovered passage way and hidden chamber on the eastern side of the pyramid. … Continue reading What’s Inside the Great Pyramid? →. . .

  Direct Link   Download 35 Minutes 09 Nov 2015

As our examination of Akhenaten continues, we turn our attention to Akhenaten’s artistic side. In addition to the political and religious changes he initiated, Akhenaten completely revolutionized established artistic convention. For a conservative society built on decorum and maintaining the status quo, what would cause a new king to adopt a new, grotesque, alienesque form … Continue reading Akhenaten–The Avant-Garde Artist →. . .

  Direct Link   Download 20 Minutes 06 Nov 2015

With one of the United State’s presidential frontrunners suggesting that it was the biblical Joseph who built the Great Pyramids as grain silos, I have been getting a lot of questions about why the Egyptians built the pyramids. In this episode, our first ever fan suggestion, I’ll go into the functional and religious aspects of … Continue reading Why the did Ancient Egyptians build Pyramids? →. . .

  Direct Link   Download 5 Minutes 05 Nov 2015

Welcome to the show! In this brief episode I give a quick personal biography, as well as my goals for this podcast. If you are looking for some great shows on Egypt and want to dive right in to material, feel free to skip this episode. But if you wanted to find out a little … Continue reading Welcome to Eric’s Guide to Ancient Egypt →. . .

  Direct Link   Download 61 Minutes 03 Nov 2015

Was Akhenaten simply a totalitarian political schemer, or was he a man of faith? A true believer? In this episode of the podcast we will look at Akhenaten’s religious revolution. We will see the portrait of a man who was willing to overturn more than a millennium of polytheistic religious tradition in the service of his god … Continue reading Akhenaten–The Prophet of the Sun →. . .

  Direct Link   Download 45 Minutes 31 Oct 2015

Akhenaten. One of the most famous pharaohs–but he wasn’t supposed to be. Coming to power only after the death of his brother, his reign was so traumatic that the ancient Egyptians attempted to erase any trace of his existence after his death. In this podcast we’ll examine his rise to power and the extreme steps he … Continue reading Akhenaten–The Fascist Pharaoh →. . .

  Direct Link   Download 25 Minutes 28 Oct 2015

After nearly a century of study, has King Tutankhamun finally given up his biggest, and most important secret? New research suggests that his tomb may actually contain a secret, undisturbed burial chamber for Queen Nefertiti. We’ll break down the evidence in the inaugural episode of the Eric’s Guide to Ancient Egypt Podcast.. . .

Comments

FrazzleB Jan 2017

There seems to have been a bit of a hiatus since June 2016, does anyone know when / if Eric's going to be recording again?