Egypt’s Golden Age: Highlights of New Kingdom Egypt

This short course highlights case studies from New Kingdom Egypt (1550 – 1069 BCE). These case studies cover the enigmatic kings such as Hatshepsut, Thutmose III, Akhenaten and Nefertiti, Tutankhamun, Ramesses II, Merneptah, and Ramesses III. It will also delve into the culture, society, and everyday life of Egyptians during this time, to give you a holistic understanding of Egypt at the peak of its cultural reach within the Eastern Mediterranean.

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Course outline

1A – The Second Intermediate Period to New Kingdom: Invasion and Egypt Re-shaped

1B – Hatshepsut and Thutmose III: The female King and Egypt to its height

2A – Amenhotep III, Akhenaten, and Nefertiti: Religious (r)evolution

2B – Tutankhamun: Egypt’s Golden Age

3A – Ramesses II and Merneptah: Shifting Rule

3B – Egypt and the Outside World

4A – Ramesses III and the Sea Peoples

4B – Decline, Re-birth, and Continuity: the end of the Bronze Age

Learning outcomes

Attendees will leave the course having covered the following learning outcomes:

  • A grasp of the evolving nature of Egyptian interactions with the world around them, through different modes of material culture.
  • An understanding of Egyptian and non-Egyptian influence on how history at this time was recorded, and how we can interpret this in a modern era.
  • Growing knowledge of why Egyptian culture has fascinated modern society based on an understanding of its historical context.
  • An appreciation of Egypt within the wider Eastern Mediterranean during the late Bronze Age.
  • An understanding of how Egypt gained a cultural ascendancy during the New Kingdom for a Golden age of cultural and political dominance, that would shape its reception within the Ancient Near East.
  • Insight into the female and male rulers who would influence later biblical and Graeco-Roman references to Egypt and Egyptian culture.

Who should attend?

The target audience for this course are those interested in the culture of ancient Egypt, including a historical/chronological approach with case studies to highlight religion, society, art, and the cultural material of New Kingdom Egypt.

The course provides content that is accessible for beginners or advanced students. Any part of the community is welcome, with no prior knowledge required. Attendees will be guided through the unique changes of Egyptian history during the New Kingdom. We will cover different epochs of this time, focusing on those people who shaped this period of history, looking at architecture, writing, military engagement and diplomacy, socio-political evolution in and outside of the Nile Valley through cultural interactions, and economic development for cultural continuity beyond the Bronze Age.


  • 4 x sessions, Tuesday 6 - Tuesday 27 October, 6- 8pm
  • $145 incl. GST
  • The University of Auckland, City Campus
  • Presented by Caleb Hamilton

Seminar presenter

Caleb Hamilton

Caleb Hamilton

Caleb Hamilton is a University of Auckland alumni, with a BA, BA Hons, and MA all from this institution. He gained his PhD from Monash University, where he undertook research on the foreign interactions in Egypt during the Early Dynastic period. He has taught at the University of Auckland and Monash University, including courses on the material culture and history during the Early Dynastic period and Old Kingdom, focusing on death and burial practises, the New Kingdom, as well as the Third Intermediate Period to Ptolemaic Period. He has also taught ancient Egyptian language, and Greek and Roman history.


Caleb was a mentor with the Tuākana program at the University of Auckland, as well as the Junior Arts Programme, and the Indigenous Academic Enhancement Program at Monash University.


He has been a member of excavations in Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt. Recent publications include a discussion of serekhs of early Egyptian kings, the Egyptian presence in the Western Desert during the Early Dynastic period, and foreign interactions from this time. He is currently preparing two edited volumes, and a monograph based on his doctoral research.

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