Tomb of pharaohs Rameses V and VI in Valley of the Kings, Luxor, Egypt
Tomb of pharaohs Rameses V and VI in Valley of the Kings, Luxor, Egypt Image: Sergii Figurnyi
© Shutterstock

Recommended age: 16+ years

Twice a year, sunlight sweeps into the chambers of The Great Temple at Abu Simbel, illuminating the face of Ramses II and marking the beginning of the flood and growing seasons. Temples were monuments to the pharaohs and the gods, reminding all of Egypt’s wealth and prosperity. For modern visitors, these temples stand as examples of the ingenuity and scope of human endeavour.

In the fourth instalment of our Saturday Lecture Series, we explore some of these monuments’ key architectural features; how kings, such as Ramses II used them to define and portray power and - in the case of Abu Simbel – as a means to harness the sun. Following the lecture, join in the conversation with a Q&A hosted by Professor of Architecture, Restoration Australia’s Anthony Burke.

Note: Ticket price does NOT include entry to Ramses & the Gold of the Pharaohs.

*Book online to save with our summer offer (valid until 31 January 2024).


Auslan interpretation

There will be Auslan interpretation provided for this event.



Dr Gillian Smith

Dr Gillian Smith is an Egyptologist specialising in temple architecture and art of the Ramesside period.
Dr Gillian Smith is an Egyptologist specialising in temple architecture and art of the Ramesside period. Image: Michael Garganera
© Michael Garganera

Obtaining her PhD in 2021 from Macquarie University (MQU), Dr Gillian Smith is an Egyptologist specialising in temple architecture and art of the Ramesside period. Her thesis, which is currently being prepared as a monograph, drew on traditional Egyptological and art-historical theories as well as architectural theory to investigate the design and ancient experience of the Hypostyle Hall at Karnak temple.

She has been an archaeological field team member on MQU’s Theban Tombs Project and has completed her own field research at Karnak Temple, Luxor. With an interest in public engagement, Gillian was one a co-founder and co-ordinators of Studying the Past, the education and engagement program for MQU’s Department of History and Archaeology.


Professor Anthony Burke

Anthony Burke is a professor of Architecture at the University of Technology Sydney and host of Restoration Australia and Grand Designs Transformations on ABC
Anthony Burke is a professor of Architecture at the University of Technology Sydney and host of Restoration Australia and Grand Designs Transformations on ABC. Image: -
© UNSW Sydney

Anthony Burke is a professor of Architecture at the University of Technology Sydney and host of Restoration Australia and Grand Designs Transformations on ABC, with 25 years’ experience lecturing, publishing, presenting and celebrating the value of good design and architecture around the world.


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