Sponsored by: Archaeological Institute of America
Since 2004, the University of Arizona Egyptian Expedition has conducted excavations at the temple of millions of years of the 19th Dynasty (ca. 1190 BCE) female pharaoh Tausret in Western Thebes (modern Luxor, Egypt). The last ruling descendant of Ramesses the Great, Tausret was a remarkable woman and one of the very few in more than 3,000 years of Egyptian history to hold the throne alone. Indeed, Homer relays that she was king of Egypt when Troy fell. By combining a variety of investigative methods (e.g., excavation, remote sensing) this project has challenged the long held assumption that her primary monument was never completed. Archaeological evidence is presented for a functional and structurally complete temple, if not fully adorned, prior to its thorough destruction in the beginning of the 20th Dynasty by a new ruling family. Important inscriptions have also been found attesting that Tausret reigned for longer than is traditionally assigned. Furthermore, other archaeological evidence regarding temple activities and later uses of the site (through the 7th cy.) are presented.
Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic:
P.P. Creasman, W.R. Johnson, J.B. McClain, R.H. Wilkinson. “Foundation or Completion? The Status of Pharaoh-Queen Tausret’s temple of Millions of Years” Near Eastern Archaeology 77.4 (2014), 274-283.