Virtual Journey: Ancient Egypt and the Nile
Egypt — one word and a legacy of kingdoms, culture, architectural advances, and philosophy begin to unfold. Home to many World Heritage sites and a deeply rich history, Egypt has attracted adventurous travelers, archaeologists, and explorers for centuries. We curated this collection of resources for you to experience the splendor of Ancient Egypt and the Nile from the comfort of home. Watch in-depth documentaries of archaeological digs, explore 360-degree tours of the Great Pyramids and the Temple of Philae, join a free online course on the history of Ancient Egypt, and more. Let the journey begin!
How Ancient Egypt was Unearthed
The discovery of King Tutankhamen’s tomb is one of the most important archeological discoveries of all time. Learn how conservators at the Getty Institute protect and preserve the tomb and the importance of their work.
When the work began on the High Aswan Dam in Upper Egypt, the two temples of Abu Simbel were threatened with complete destruction. See the incredible work of the international campaign launched by UNESCO in this 1972 film on the efforts to save the temples.
In 2017, excavations in Dahshur revealed a brand new pyramid and its tomb that appears to have been robbed. Follow along with Smithsonian Channel to begin unraveling the mystery.
Learn more about the Important Sites of the Region
Egypt and the Nile are home to many World Heritage sites, including the Nubian monuments of the Temple of Rameses II at Abu Simbel and the Sanctuary of Isis at Philae; ancient Thebes with its many temples, tombs, and palaces; and the great Pyramids of Giza, considered one of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. See a Photo Gallery of these incredible sites here →
Get up close to the monuments of Egypt and the Nile in this 360° immersive experience. Click the forward arrow on the site to see 360° videos of sailing on the Nile, Karnak Temple, Luxor, and more!
The Giza Project at Harvard University gives you access to the largest collection of information, media, and research materials ever assembled about the Pyramids and related sites on Egypt’s Giza Plateau, including 3D tours of Egypt's most iconic sites.
Discover the rich cultural legacy of Ancient Egypt and the Nile
Decipher the language of ancient Egypt and learn what hieroglyphs can tell us about history, accompanied by an acclaimed Egyptologist. Watch this complimentary 30-minute course provided by The Great Courses where you'll learn how to write and position each hieroglyph, and how to transcribe your name from English to ancient Egyptian.
Charles Lang Freer took three trips to Egypt between 1906 and 1910, initiating a collection that now includes more than one thousand objects dating to as early as 2600 BCE View the Ancient Egyptian Collection from the National Museum of Asian Art which holds a world-famous collection of glass vessels produced during Dynasty 18 (ca. 1539–1295 BCE), among other treasured objects.
Take a 360-degree tour of the tomb of Queen Meresankh III. Built around 2500 B.C., the walls of this tomb are adorned with several scenes including bread baking, beer brewing, herding, mat making, and jewlery. See the large statues of women, believed to represent Meresankh herself, her mother, and her daughters.
One of the most famous women of Ancient Egypt is Nefertiti, but few would know anything about her if it weren't for her statue discovered in 1912. Many believe the unearthing of her likeness was staged, and that the bust, currently insured for $400 million, is one of the greatest art frauds of all time. Smithsonian Magazine interviews an expert about her unique, hypnotic gaze.
In this film, using archaeological discoveries and genetics data, researchers and explorers piece together clues from mummies to better understand the culture, religion, medicine and daily life of antiquity. Relics and bodies provide a window into the world of the pharaohs and – by reconstructing the DNA – scientists hope to better understand present-day genetics and to advance medical treatments.
Meet one of our Smithsonian Journey Experts
David Price Williams has a degree in Ancient Near Eastern languages and a doctorate in Near Eastern archaeology and has spent his working life as an East Mediterranean archaeologist. He taught Middle Eastern Archaeology and Egyptology at the University of London for many years. His first overseas field work was at the classical site of Knidos in Turkey. He then worked for several seasons as a surveyor for the Smithsonian Institution excavating a site on the Egyptian border before directing his own field research in the Levant. David has designed and lectured on many tours to Egypt, Turkey and Greece. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and an elected life member of the Society for Old Testament Studies.
Dive deeper into the history, mythology, and stories of Ancient Egypt and the Nile with thse intriguing reads. See the full reading list here.
Explore Egypt with the Smithsonian!
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