Surveying in Ancient Egypt
There are many aspects of surveying that are strikingly similar in Ancient Egypt and today. To investigate this, areas of surveying, that are relevant to today’s surveyors, such as mathematics and measurement, orientation, leveling and legal aspects of surveying, have been studied to create a picture of the work of the surveyors of Ancient Egypt. There is little evidence that remains from Ancient Egypt. Most of the existing evidence comes from the paintings on the tomb walls or fragments of papyri. Because of a lack of descriptions of the specific ways tasks were undertaken, theories on the methods used must be considered. The best possible explanation for the surveying methods are given in each case.
The duties of the surveyor in Ancient Egypt covered a number of aspects, including boundary definition and in building construction. The need for surveying was a consequence of the civilized society in Ancient Egypt. The annual flooding of the Nile, something that impacted significantly on the life of the Egyptians, often resulted in a change of the shape of the land on the banks of the river, or the disappearance of the stones marking the boundaries. A surveyor was required to re-measure the land and to replace the marks as required, so that any disputes between neighbors could be resolved. Surveyors also provided information for construction work. Of particular interest are the cardinally orientated buildings, namely the temples and the pyramids (tombs), which required a great deal of careful measurement to obtain the orientation required. The role of the surveyor was an important one, as shown by the evidence of the work of the surveyors in the form of pictures on tomb walls. The position of the surveyor in society, a scribe, shows they were one of the upper classes in Egyptian society and well educated.
Written by Ingrid Salmon, School of Surveying and Spatial Information Systems — The University of New South Wales – October 2003
Tour cost (air & land): $2,995.00 per person in double (from Cleveland or NYC); Single Supplement: $855.00
Group Size minimum is 16 participants, maximum is 22 participants

Your tour includes:
  • International airfare from CLEVELAND via New York/JFK to Cairo, roundtrip on EgyptAir (Air allowance if not flying on EgyptAir is $700.00)
  • All internal flights within Egypt
  • First class (4*) hotel accommodations and Nile Cruise
  • Meals as listed
  • A bottle of water per person each day (excluding cruise days)
  • All tours as per itinerary including an Egyptologist guide
  • All entrance fees to visited sites
  • Transfers by modern motor-coach throughout
  • All local taxes and service charges on the included items
  • Tipping to guides, drivers or hotel staff (estimated at $130.00 per person)
  • Egyptian Visa - $20 (at time of printing)
Not included:
  • Airport taxes (estimated currently at $285.00)
  • All beverages and meals not included in the program
  • Items of a personal nature: emails, telephone calls, souvenirs, laundry, etc.
  • Airfare from other cities aside from Cleveland to NYC’s JFK
  • Dayroom or extra overnight hotels not listed in itinerary if caused by any changes in airline schedules
  • Travel Insurance
  • Transfers if not arriving/departing on scheduled flights/tour dates
NB: three credit hours of academic credit available through the University of Akron; contact Professor Mike Besch.
CPD certificates available through the Surveyors Historical Society.
EGYPT...Land of the Pharoahs
Behold the mysteries of Egypt. Cruise along the Nile and witness time standing still evidenced by the rhythm of life along the banks of the river. Visit all of the sites that one expects to see in an itinerary offering an overview of the history of the region. Stop in Edfu and Kom Ombo to see the remains of temples. Tour the west and east banks of ancient Thebes, modern day Luxor. Explore the local market in Aswan and the Khan el Khalili bazaar in Cairo for a slice of life both past and present. Of course, no itinerary would be complete without a stop at some of the oldest attractions in the world, the colossal pyramids of Giza and the mysterious Sphinx. Let this superbly-guided exploration of Egypt captivate you with the bountiful treasures of ancient times and the hospitality of modern natives.
March 12 - DEPART USA
Depart from Cleveland to JFK then connect at 6:30 PM on Egypt Air’s non-stop to Cairo.
March 13 - CAIRO
Arrive midday at Cairo’s International airport. You will be met by a local representative who will assist you in obtaining the entry visa and with customs and immigration formalities before transferring you to Pyramisa Hotel or similar. Balance of the day at leisure to rest and unpack. Overnight at your hotel.
March 14 - CAIRO
Begin your first full day of touring after breakfast. Visit the National Museum of Antiquities housing the largest collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts in the whole world. Enjoy the Royal Mummy Room, the resting place of Ramses II, his father Seti I, and Tuthmosis II. Tea and light brunch with the Egyptian Surveyors & Mapping Society. Continue to the Old Quarter of Cairo with its Hanging Church and Ben Ezra Synagogue. Continue to the Giza Plateau to gaze upon the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. Enjoy some free time for a camel ride. Return to hotel for overnight. (B & brunch)
March 15 - CAIRO to ASWAN
Meet very early for breakfast before heading to the airport for your flight to Aswan. On arrival, transfer to the pier and check in for your Presidential Nile Cruise or similar. After lunch you will board a felucca (sailing boat) for a leisurely cruise on the Nile, passing the Agha Khan Mausoleum, the botanical garden on Kitchener’s Island and the Nilometer. Dinner and overnight on board the ship. (B,L,D)
March 16 - ASWAN to KOM OMBO and EDFU
Spend the morning visiting the High Dam (Visit with chief engineer at Aswan Dam), the quarries where you will walk over the Unfinished Obelisk, still attached in its place then Philae Temple. After lunch, set sail for Kom Ombo and upon arrival visit the Temple of the crocodile god Sobek on the bank of the river. Continue sailing to Edfu where you will dock for the night. Enjoy the sunset, dinner and entertainment on board the ship. (B, L, D)
March 17 - EDFU to LUXOR
This morning you will visit the Temple of the god Horus at Edfu. Enjoy lunch on board the ship and set sail for Esna where you will pass through the locks on your way to Luxor. Afternoon tea is served on deck as you relax and watch life unfold on the river banks. (B, L, D)
March 18 - LUXOR
Cross the river to the West Bank to visit the Valley of the Kings (including tomb # TT69 of Menna -If open by the antiquities department), Valley of the Queens, Deir El Bahari and the Colossi of Memnon. Return to the ship for lunch before visitng the Karnak Complex and Luxor Temple. Last night on board the ship. (B, L, D)
March 19 - LUXOR to CAIRO
After breakfast, conclude the visits and transfer to the airport for your flight to Cairo. On arrival, transfer to Pyramisa Hotel or similar. Free time to relax, repack or revisit sites. Enjoy a farewell dinner with entertainment at a local restaurant. Return to hotel for overnight. (B, D)
March 20 - CAIRO
Depart for Saqqara, burial place of the pharaohs of the Old Kingdom, to see the oldest example of a pyramid, Djoser’s Step Pyramid and to Dahshur for two more early examples, the Bent and Red Pyramids of Sneferu father of Cheops. After lunch, proceed to the Citadel of Saladin, Mohamed Ali’s Alabaster Mosque, the Sultan Hassan Mosque, El Refai Mosque and the Gayer Anderson Museum. In the afternoon visit the famous Khan el Khalili bazaar before returning to your hotel for overnight. (B)
Have breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport for flight to JFK with onward connections to your home airport arriving same day. (B)
We are in the process of trying to make arrangements for certain activities but
because planning is done so far in advance and schedules are fluid it can be
difficult to confirm until closer to the specified date.
We (STS) reserve the right to change hotels, restaurants or the order of
activities if/as needed. : Spiekermann Travel Service, Inc.
©SHS Copyright 2009