Egypt and Rome in England Tour
Travel from London to Liverpool and back visiting the Egyptian collections of renowned museums and Roman archaeological sites along the way.
With Professor Bob Brier and Art Historian, Patricia Remler
June 23 – July 1, 2017
Why travel on Far Horizons’ Egypt and Rome in England Tour ?
• Led by Professor Bob Brier, a Great Courses professor, and Patricia Remler
• Tour Stonehenge and Old Sarum
• Private tour of Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum
• Private tour of Liverpool’s World Museum and Garstang Museum of Archaeology
• Private tour of Caerleon and Caerwent with archaeologist, Dr. Peter Guest
(click to enlarge)
Travel & Tour Egypt and Rome in England – Daily Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive to London. Tour Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum and Stonehenge.
Day 2: Old Sarum and Bath.
Day 3: Cirencester and Chedworth Roman Villa.
Day 4: Caerleon and Caerwent.
Day 5: Wroxeter and Chester.
Day 6: Liverpool Museums.
Day 7: New Walk Museum in Leicester and Petrie Museum in London.
Day 8: Roman London and British Museum.
Day 9: Fly back to the USA.
The United Kingdom has been influenced by a multitude of different cultures and peoples over the course of history. Two of the most powerful and influential empires the world has ever known – Rome and Ancient Egypt – have made such an impression here that they continue to be an integral part of British archaeology.
Far Horizons proudly present a 9-day, completely unique itinerary to discover some of the most remarkable Roman ruins in England and Wales while simultaneously admiring the vast Egyptian collections at prominent museums. From Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter, to Flanders Petrie to John Garstang, British archaeologists have long harbored a fascination with ancient artifacts from the land of the Pharaohs. We will visit the impressive collections at Oxford, Liverpool, Leicester and London where one-of-a-kind objects are housed as testament to these explorers’ enduring legacies. Roman conquest of ancient Britannia began with Julius Caesar in 55BC and lasted for centuries thereafter, each campaign expanding the vast-reaching empire in territory, trade and development. Throughout this trip we will see some of the most extensive remains of Roman amphitheaters, barracks, baths and walls as we meet with various archaeologists and specialists on site.
Join study leaders Bob Brier, of Great Courses fame, and Patricia Remler in our quest to weave together the Egyptian and Roman archaeology in England and gain a new perspective on the nature of empires.
Egypt and Rome in England Tour Leaders
Bob Brier received his Ph.D from the University of North Carolina. He is not only one of the nation’s leading Egyptologists, but a brilliant lecturer and storyteller. He is professor of philosophy at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University and the author of several books including The Murder of Tutankhamen: A True Story (Berkley Books, 1998), The Daily Life of the Ancient Egyptians (Greenwood Press, 1999) andThe Secret of the Great Pyramid: How One Man’s Obsession Led to the Solution of Ancient Egypt’s Greatest Mystery(Harper Collins, 2008). Professor Brier has served as director of the “Egyptology Today” program of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and as host of the Learning Channel series, The Great Egyptians. A popular lecturer for The Great Courses, not for credit seminars for lifelong learners, he has twice been selected as a Fulbright Scholar, and has received Long Island University’s David Newton Award for Teaching Excellence in recognition of his achievements. He is a wonderful teacher with a special flair for evoking the distant past in ways that make it seem vividly present.
Patricia Remler is an author, photographer, and art historian. She was the Researcher for four important Learning Channel documentaries – the three-part Pyramids, Tombs, and Mummies, the six-part series The Great Egyptians, the one hour Napoleon’s Obsession: The Quest for Egypt, and the three-part dseries Unwrapped, The Mysterious World of Mummies. She is the author of Egyptian Mythology A – Z.
Egypt and Rome in England Tour Itinerary
(B) breakfast, (L) lunch, (D) dinner
Day 1: Arrive to London Heathrow by 7am. The group will be met at Terminal 3 and escorted to the bus for departure. Drive to the renowned Ashmolean Museum at the University of Oxford. The Egyptian collections here are among the most extensive in Britain, and they represent every period of Egyptian civilization from prehistory to the 7th century AD. After lunch, continue on to the most popular archaeological attraction in Britain, Stonehenge. The huge sandstone monoliths that make up this Neolithic monument formed a ceremonial center oriented towards the summer solstice and other astronomical points. Most theories suggest that it was used as an agricultural calendar, though recent work shows that it was connected to a wider spiritual landscape including the stone circle at Avebury. We end today in Devizes where we overnight for two nights at The Bear Inn. (L/D)
Day 2: Begin today at Old Sarum, which was successively an Iron Age British hill-fort known to the Romans as Sorviodunum, a Roman and Saxon town, and a Norman fortress and cathedral. As a key town in the ancient Saxon kingdom of Wessex, it was important for the Normans to control this site. Because of this, Henry I of England, son of William the Conquerer, used the site as a royal residence for much of his reign. Our destination this afternoon is Bath in Somerset, containing one of the best examples of a bath complex in Europe, which includes the remains of the Temple of Aquae Sulis Minerva, the sacred hot spring, and a well-presented museum of artifacts found at the site. The upwelling of water at the rate of 240,000 gallons every day has been doing so for thousands of years. To the ancients, this remarkable phenomenon could only be the work of the gods. The temple at Bath is one of only two classical temples known from Roman Britain. The temple was built to house the cult statue of the goddess Sulis Minerva, the gilt-bronze head of this statue is on display in the museum. The healing powers of the goddess and the mineral-rich water from the spring attracted visitors from across the Roman Empire. Return to the hotel this evening to enjoy dinner. (B/L/D)
Day 3: Our first stop today will be to Cirencester, the second largest town in Roman Britain, where we visit the award winning Corinium Museum, home to one of the largest collections of Romano-British antiquities in the country. A short distance away is the remains of one of the largest Romano-British villas in the country, Chedworth, featuring several fine mosaics, two bathhouses, hypocausts, a water-shrine and latrine. Continue on to Caerleon in lovely Wales and overnight for two nights at the Priory Hotel, located in the center of this picturesque town. (Note: This will be the simplest accommodation of the trip.) Dinner is on your own to explore the various nearby restaurants or dine at the hotel’s top-rated restaurant. (B/L)
Day 4: Caerleon lay within the territory of a fierce tribe that was not pacified by the Romans until around 75 AD. As a result, Caerleon, then named Isca, was chosen as one of the three permanent legionary fortresses of Roman Britain and was responsible for the military administration of the Welsh tribes. The base was home to one of the thirty Roman Legions (of 5-6000 men each) scattered across the empire. Dr. Peter Guest, senior lecturer on Roman History at Cardiff University and the archaeologist who has caused a stir in the media due to recent discoveries in Caerleon, will join us for the entire day. We begin our explorations at the remains of the amphitheater used by the army for training as well as gladiatorial shows and the best preserved example in Britain, troop barracks, and fortified walls. After walking through the Roman ruins, we’ll go to the Wales National Roman Legion Museum and Roman Baths Museum. In the afternoon we drive to nearby Caerwent, founded by the Romans in 75AD as Venta Silurum, to explore some of the best-preserved Roman ruins in Europe. Return to the hotel this afternoon and enjoy dinner at the hotel. (B/L/D)
Day 5: Travel through the beautiful Welsh countryside to Wroxeter, or Viroconium, the fourth largest city in Roman Britain. It began as a legionary fortress and later developed into a thriving civilian city. Though much still remains below ground, today the most impressive features are the 2nd century municipal baths, and the remains of the huge wall dividing them from the exercise hall in the heart of the city. Thanks to an innovative TV project, a Roman villa urbana, a high status Roman town house, has recently been erected using local materials and traditional methods. The brightly painted oxblood and yellow villa, although controversial, has helped shed new light on how incredible feats of ancient engineering were achieved. Continue to walled city of Chester, or Dev Victrix, arguably the richest city in Britain for archaeological and architectural treasures preserved from the time of the Roman occupation. After lunch at the hotel, our walking tour of the city includes the ramparts and the Grosvenor Museum’s two Roman galleries. The first tells the story of Chester’s legions and fortress, with displays on the army, fortress buildings and everyday life, and the second houses a nationally important collection of Roman tombstones. Overnight at the Chester Grosvenor Hotel, with its black and white timbered façade belying the modern elegance of the hotel interior. Dinner is on our own to explore the local culinary options. (B/L)
Day 6: Nearby Liverpool is the home of two museums with outstanding Egyptian collections. The World Museum is one of the largest in England and contains extensive collections covering archaeology, ethnology and the natural and physical sciences. Here we visit the Egyptology collection containing 15,000 objects from Egypt and Sudan from the Prehistoric to the Islamic Period with the largest archaeological site collections being Abydos, Amarna, Beni Hasan, Esna and Meroe. Dr. Ashley Cooke, Head of Antiquities, Curator of Egyptian and Near Eastern Antiquities, will join us for a private tour and handling session. After lunch in a famous local pub it’s on to the Garstang Museum of Archaeology, housed in the School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology at University of Liverpool. The museum is named for Professor John Garstang, whose excavations in the early 1900s in Egypt, Sudan and the Levant produced the majority of the museum’s archaeological collections. Because he mainly excavated in cemeteries in Egypt, the objects sent back to England were often well-preserved and of high-quality. Spanning a range of over 3,000 years, they include beautifully decorated vessels from the very beginning of Egyptian history, stone statuettes which commemorate ordinary soldiers, and an impressive collection of wooden masks from coffins. If available, Gina Criscenzo Laycock, the museum’s curator, will join us for a private tour and handling session. This evening, transfer to Leicester and overnight at the boutique Hotel Maiyango. (B/L/D)
Day 7: In Leicester we visit the museum which is a celebration of the city’s Roman history with stunning collections including detailed mosaics, intricate painted wall plaster and a beautiful Roman cavalry helmet cheek-piece. The museum grounds contain one of Leicester’s most famous landmarks, the 2,000-year old Jewry Wall. The Jewry Wall, Part of the Roman towns’ public baths, is the second largest piece of surviving Roman civil building in England. Continue to London and to our hotel for two nights, the Radisson Edwardian Bloomsbury Street Hotel, located adjacent to the British Museum. In the afternoon walk to the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Art, housing an estimated 80,000 objects, making it one of the greatest collections of Egyptian and Sudanese archaeology in the world. The displays showcase life in the Nile Valley from prehistory through the time of the pharaohs, the Ptolemaic, Roman and Coptic periods to the Islamic period. Dinner is on our own this evening. (B/L)
Day 8: The Romans built the city where London now stands around 50AD and called it Londinium. At its height the city had a population of about 30,000, making it one of the largest cities outside Italy and the largest in Britannia until 410AD. With a busy international trade, rich villas, an amphitheatre, and several temples, it was also a vital port through which goods were imported from all over the world. We begin our tour to uncover the remnants of Roman London at Guidhall, where we see the now humble remains of the ancient amphitheater, purportedly the largest of its time holding 6,000 people. We continue to the Temple of Mitra, uncovered during the rebuilding after the Blitz of World War II. The original temple was underground and was the scene for religious banquets and rituals. The entire floor plan can clearly be seen, with colonnaded side aisles where initiates could recline while sharing the sacred banquet, and an altar at the back which once had a statue of Mithras slaying a bull and thus bringing life to the world. At St. Bride’s church on Fleet St., a visit to the crypt will reveal the foundations of a sixth century Saxon church and a portion of a Roman building with a decorated floor. On route back to our hotel we stop at Cleopatra’s Needle, a 68ft, 224 ton obelisk from Egypt. Originally erected in Heliopolis under Thutmose III in 1450BC, it was moved to Alexandria in 12BC and set up in the city’s Caesareum, where it remained until 1877 when Sir William James Erasmus Wilson sponsored its transportation to London. In the afternoon, walk to the British Museum and spend the morning touring its Egyptian treasures with your study leaders. For lunch we are free to have a bite to eat in the British Museum café. Tonight we will dine at one of the many lovely restaurants in the Bloomsbury district. (B/D)
Day 9: Depart for the USA. (B)
June 23 – July 1, 2017
$7,495.00 (per person, double occupancy) includes group accommodations based on double occupancy; meals as noted in the itinerary; gratuities to guides and drivers; entry fees to sites named in itinerary; ground transportation; and emergency evacuation insurance for each participant.
Single Supplement: $995.00. Should a roommate be requested and one not be available, the single supplement will be charged.
Cost does not include: International flights to/from London; a separate $150 donation check made out to ‘American Friends of National Museums Liverpool, Inc.’; passport or visa fees; airport or departure taxes; beverages or food not included on regular menus; laundry; excess baggage charges; personal tips; airport transfer fees for arrival or departure; alcoholic drinks; email, telephone and fax charges; or other items of a personal nature.
Fuel Surcharges: Far Horizons must pass on price increases when additional fuel charges are levied.
Donation Checks: Cost of the trip does not include the separate donation check for $150.00 to ‘ American Friends of National Museums Liverpool, Inc.’ with ‘World Museum donation’ in the memo line. As a tour company that benefits from the historical, cultural and natural riches of our destinations, we have a policy of donating to scholars, archaeological and cultural projects, and museums in each of our destinations. This has created a bond with the academic community that allows you to gain an ‘insider’s view’ of the work being done in each country.
A deposit of $500.00 is required along with your registration form. Final payment is due 90 days before departure. Upon receipt of your deposit and completed registration form, you will be sent a reading list and a tour bulletin containing travel information. Prior to the trip, we will send links to various websites of pertinent interest. Click here to download our Registration Form.
Cancellations and Refunds
Cancellations received in writing at least 90 days before departure will receive a refund less a $300.00 administrative fee. Cancellations received less than 90 days before the departure date will not receive a refund. If for any reason you are unable to complete the trip, Far Horizons will not reimburse any fees. Registrants are strongly advised to buy travel insurance that includes trip cancellation.
International flights are not included in the cost of the trip. If you do not arrive or depart on the scheduled days, you are responsible for all transportation (including airport transfers) to join the group. If Far Horizons must change the trip dates or cancel the trip for any reason, Far Horizons is not responsible for any air ticket you may have purchased. Please send your complete air schedule as soon as you have it. NOTE: Please contact Far Horizons if you would like for us to handle your air ticketing.
The itinerary requires that you arrive to London Heathrow International Airport no later than 7:00am on June 23, 2017. For those of you wanting to arrive to London earlier than this date, Far Horizons is able to offer a favorable hotel room rate at the Radisson Edwardian Heathrow Hotel, located 5 minutes from the airport grounds. Please contact our office if you are interested in this option.
Private Tours of Archaeological Sites
The private tours of archaeological sites and talks by specialists are scheduled in advance and include a donation to each. Specialists working at these sites are excited about showing their work to interested enthusiasts. However, please be aware that there may be times when the director or a member of the staff may not be on site when our groups arrive due to other commitments.
Note about Travel in England
This itinerary requires a great deal of walking – at least a mile a day – in order to visit the included sites, especially in London where we will need to, at times, utilize the underground subway system to reach our destinations. If you have questions about whether or not you are physically capable of this level of activity, please contact the Far Horizons office as soon as possible. Far Horizons and its staff have taken great care to select hotels on this itinerary that are clean, comfortable, elegant and well-situated to facilitate the site visits. With that said, hotel rooms in England – especially in city centers – are often times smaller than what can be expected based on American standards. Single rooms are most often equipped with one twin bed. Our hotel in Caerleon is the best hotel in town, but the rooms are variable and simple in comparison to the other accommodations on our itinerary. Your understanding and flexibility in this matter is greatly appreciated.
This Archaeological Tour to England is limited to 14 participants