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Saturday 6 July 2024 1400 UK Time:


Chris Naunton: 'Egypt's Silver Pharaohs: The Royal Tombs of Tanis.'


Details will appear here in due course. 



Study Days 2023


Saturday December 9th and Sunday December 10th 2023 CANCELLED

It is with regret that we have to announce the cancellation of the Silsila fundraiser weekend planned for 9-10 December 2023. Despite the loyal support of SAES Members and our regular guests, John Ward and the Gebel el-Silsila team have made it clear that registration numbers and, more especially, confirmed payments are not enough to warrant the time and effort of the speakers in preparing for this event. We are hugely disappointed by the last minute decision to cancel, which is entirely beyond our control. We would like to thank other groups, in particular the Egypt Exploration Society, the Kemet Klub and the Thames Valley and North-East Ancient Egypt Societies, who had generously left this weekend clear to avoid clashes of the sort that resulted in the postponement of the original event in July.  We thank those registrants who paid their joining fees, all of which were to have been donated to the Friends of Silsila, but we now feel bound to refund those fees so that individual supporters can choose whether to make a personal donation to FoS or use it for another purpose. Payments made through PayPal can be refunded on request. To refund payments made by bank transfer, the Treasurer will require bank details. In either case, please contact the Secretary to discuss arrangements for repayment. SAES Members may choose, if they wish, to have payments set against future events.  Once again, we are extremely sorry for the short notice of this cancellation and hope that it will not deter people from joining SAES events in the future. Thank you for your understanding. 

Hilary Wilson
(SAES Chair)  



John Ward and Maria Nilsson: 'Gebel el Silsila Project.'  



Southampton Ancient Egypt Society(SAES) is set to host a study weekend, in partnership with Friends of Silsila, dedicated to one of the largest archaeological sites in the whole of Egypt –Gebel el-Silsila.

Gebel el-Silsila is home to the ancient sandstone quarries used by pharaohs such as Tutankhamun, Ramses II and Akhenaten. Many of the most important sites and monuments in Egypt were built using Silsila sandstone.
The concessions area, where the excavations are taking place, spans 12 square miles and 10,000 years of human activity.

The study weekend, on 9 and 10 December 2023, will cover ten years of digging; sifting; cleaning; drawing; research and a host of amazing discoveries.

The weekend will consist of 13 talks delivered virtually by members of the Gebel el-Silsila team, hosted by project leaders Dr Maria Nilsson and John Ward. Dr Abdel Moneim Saeed, Director General of Aswan and Nubia, will open the proceedings.

Running from 1pm – 5pm, each talk will last for 25 minutes with time for questions at the end. Subjects to be covered include, the cult of the god Sobek, the differences in socio-economic status in trauma and disease patterns, shrines and looters, amongst many others.

Maria and John are familiar faces having appeared on many National Geographic and Travel Channel documentaries. Together they lead an international team of more than 100 people. Each dig season they are joined on site by their young children Freja and Jonathan. 


 The two-day event costs £20 for SAES members and £25 for non-members. Payments can be made through PayPal, bank transfer or cheque. Payment details are available on the SAES website in the News and Join Us sections.

The whole fee, which covers both days, will go to Friends of Silsila. SAES will also make a supplementary donation on behalf of each SAES member who signs up.  

Programme for the 2 days;


          Hilary Wilson                     Introduction, Housekeeping, Programme Details     5 minutes
          Dr Abdul Moneim Saeed   Welcome by Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities           5 minutes
01.      Dr Nilsson & John Ward    Welcome & Introduction to the Programme          25 minutes
                                                      Q & A                                                                        5 minutes
02.       John Ward                          Quarrying for the King, Quarries of Dynasty 18     25 minutes                                
                                                       Q & A                                                                        5 minutes 
03.       Tricia Coletto                      Tomb ST34, (Looters in Kheny)                                25 minutes                                
                                                       Q & A                                                                        5 minutes  

                                                        Comfort Break                                                         20 minutes

04.      Hubert van Verseveld        Tomb ST10 a Little Spot on Google Earth                25 minutes
                                                      Q & A                                                                        5 minutes
05.       Ahmed Faraman                 Rock Inscriptions                                                    25 minutes                                
                                                       Q & A                                                                        5 minutes 
06.       Sarah Doherty                     Pottery & People at Silsila                                      25 minutes                                
                                                       Q & A                                                                        5 minutes  
07.        Prof Barbara                       The Workers of Kheny (Osteo-Archaeological
                                                              Perspective                                                         25 minutes
                                                         Q & A                                                                        5 minutes
                                                        Plenary Session                                                         30 minutes

                                                         END OF DAY 1

           Dr Nilsson & John Ward    Welcome to Day 2                                                    5 minutes
08.       Dr Maria Nilsson                 Animals in Rock Art                                               25 minutes                                
                                                       Q & A                                                                        5 minutes 
09.       Dr Nils Billing                     Naoi and Shrines                                                     25 minutes  
                                                       Q & A                                                                        5 minutes 
10.       Dr Meamen Saad                The Pure Water of Kheny, a Special Cult?               25 minutes  
                                                       Q & A                                                                        5 minutes 

                                                        Comfort Break                                                         20 minutes 

11.       Jo Derbyshire                     The Cult of Sobek & the Temples                            25 minutes  
                                                       Q & A                                                                        5 minutes  
12.       Karan Thomas                     The Life of a Volunteer (pre-recorded)                   25 minutes  
                                                       Q & A                                                                       5 minutes 
13.        Dr Nilsson & John Ward    CLOSING SESSION
                                                        Plans for Season 17, Q & A, Discussion                   30 Minutes

                                                         END OF DAY 2


 John Ward and Maria Nilsson are currently carrying out archaeological works at the vast New Kingdom necropolis of Gebel el-Silsila, south of Luxor on the River Nile, which includes fascinating historical sites such as a large family cemetery & the recently rediscovered Temple of Kheny. Swedish Archaeologist & Egyptologist Dr. Maria Nilsson has made numerous appearances on international TV, radio & print media to spread the word about the many exciting finds at Gebel el-Silsila, where she currently serves as Mission Director. Maria is a National Geographic Explorer & an Explorers Club Fellow. John Ward is a British archaeologist. Since 2012, John has served as Assistant Director of the dig site of Gebel el-Silsila. John is a familiar face in the world of media. He is a National Geographic Explorer & an Explorers Club Fellow.  


  The waiting room will open about 12.45 for a 13.00 start UK time for each of the two days.                                    
Zoom Meeting Joining Instructions    

To join the meetings on 9 and 10 December 2023 all you have to do is follow these steps:    

1: Click/tap on the registration links you have been sent, one for each day. You will be asked to enter your name and email address to register for the meeting. Visitors please contact the Secretary at to obtain links. 

2: If you have not already paid the meeting fee in advance, contact the Secretary at to arrange payment. Payments can be made by BACS transfer, through PayPal, or by cheque. Details on the website 'Join Us' page.  

 3: Look out for the meeting link (there is only one for both parts of the event) which will be sent during the week before the talks. You may need to check your junk or spam folders in case they go astray. If you have not received the link by the day before the meeting please try registering again or contact the Secretary. For reasons of security and copyright the meeting link should not be shared with anyone else.    
Remember, the registration link you will be given are specific to the meeting on 9 and 10 December 2023. THE LINK ONLY WORKS FOR THIS EVENT. A new registration link will be issued for each future meeting.