About Laura Ranieri Roy

Director and Founder

a Canadian Egyptologist, Award-Winning Communications Specialist and Writer, Presenter, Performer, Songwriter, and Journeywoman with many tales to tell!

Laura is founder and director of Ancient Egypt Alive (2013) and its emerging affiliates Ancient Greece Alive and Ancient Worlds Alive. Her vision is to educate and inspire history lovers about great civilizations through learning events, engaging presentations – and even travel. She is a master at bringing history alive.

Laura holds a Master’s degree in Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations from the University of Toronto, and has excavated at the ancient Greek site of Apollonia Pontica in Bulgaria, and in Egypt at Amarna and South Asasif (Luxor). In addition to speaking at museums, events, and conferences across North America, she creates and leads specialized learning tours to Egypt and world museums. Laura has personally travelled to Egypt close to 20 times.

Educator at Museums, Societies, Schools & Late Life Learning Institutes

She lectures on ancient Egypt and ancient civilizations, and has taught across North America at museums, historical societies, and academic conferences. She is a popular speaker amongst “Later Life Learning” Networks: LLL at Innis College, University of Toronto, LLIR at York University/Glendon College Ryerson University’s Life Institute, (from Fall 2021) Laura has also  been an Egyptian history Specialist Partner for the Toronto District School Board (Canada’s largest school board).

Dramatic beginnings:

In addition to her academic and education work focused on ancient cultures and archeology (her first love), Laura holds a BA in English Drama and is a writer and performer who began her career as an actress/TV travel host, notably filming a TV documentary on Greece (CHCH TV 11). 

A born history “geek”, she won a University scholarship for Latin and classical studies… and attributes her childhood passion for ancient history to the iconic BBC TV series I Claudius – along with the works of Shakespeare, Tacitus, Herodotus, Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides. The rest is history!

Laura has taught and lectured on Ancient Egypt extensively over the past ten years, including:

  • Innis College, University of Toronto: (Late Life Learning (LLL): January to April 2022
    • Age of the Pharaohs – a 10 week whirlwind learning adventure through the history of Pharaonic Egypt! — More than 250 registrants
  • Red Herring Games Great Britain: Murder on the Nile Weekend – January 29-30, 2022
    • Guest lecturer on “Tutmania: The exciting discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun
  • Hong Kong Jockey and Racing Club
    • July 2021: Virtual tour to Egypt
    • April 2022: Masterpieces in Egyptian Art from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo
  • Glendon College York University: Later Learning in Retirement: September to November 2021
    • Wonderful Things: The Life, Death and Treasures of King Tutankhamun
    • Ryerson Life Institute – Developed and Taught 5 courses since 2017:
    • Egypt’s Pyramids: Meaning, Making and Metaphor
    • Age of the Pharaohs: Survey course of Egyptian history predynastic to the 21stDynasty
    • Wonders of Egypt
    • Fall of Egypt: From the Late Period through the Arab Conquest
    • Treasures of Tutankhamun: New winter of 2021

Laura has also been a professional writer and presenter for 25 years and in addition to her Egyptology MA, holds her Honours BA in English and Drama from The University of Toronto.

  • Ancient Egypt Professional Academic Conferences:
  • ARCE (American Research Centre in Egypt) Richmond Virginia conference 2016:  Linens of Hathor
  • SSEA Fall 2017: Old Kingdom Art: Moustaches on Statuary/Reliefs
  • ARCE (American Research Centre in Egypt) Annual Conference
  • Hathor Linens (Richmond
  • Virginia 2017) Old Kingdom Art (April 2021)
  • Toronto Library (various locations (2013-2018)
  • Cobourg and Port Hope Libraries (2017-2020)
  • THE Museum in Kitchener
  • Lecturer for Egyptian Dialogues 2014 &2015: Akhenaten: Mad Tyrant or Tragic Hero & 1000 Miles up the Nile
  • Ancient Egypt Day – Expert, Content creator and educator 2017 March Break Week
  • Oakville Museum

o   Tutmania three-day event 2015: Lectures on Hieroglyphs, Mummies and The Discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamun

o   Hair in Ancient Egypt; Special evening lecture 2017

  • Niagara Falls Museum
  • 4-part lecture series on Egypt Summer and Fall 2017
    • Hieroglyphs
    • Canadians on the Nile
    • Pyramids and Tombs
    • Akhenaten
  • Toronto Board of Education: Registered Partner for Egypt in the classroom (2017-2020)
  • Excavation Experience
  • Greek site of Apollonia on the Black Sea, Sozopol Bulgaria, Field school 2012
  • Egypt excavations of Great Temple of Aten at Amarna, Middle Egypt under the esteemed Professor Barry Kemp CBE. 2013
  •  Egypt excavations South Asasif, Luxor Egypt 2015

Media:

Ancient Egypt Alive Courses – currently developed

1. Wonderful Things: The Life, Death and Treasures of Tutankhamun

In November 1922 – almost 100 years ago – the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb and magnificent gold treasures shook the world. This minor king of Egypt died before his 20th birthday and yet his legacy is one of the most extraordinary in all of ancient history. In this special in-depth art and history course, we tell the fascinating story of King Tut and learn the astonishing details of his life, death and tomb discovery by Carter and Lord Carnarvan. We’ll also explore the most remarkable of his 3000 treasures – penetrating the secrets behind these true masterpieces of ancient art – which today are being conserved and restored for the new Grand Egyptian Museum.

2. Egypt’s Pyramids: Meaning, Making and Metaphor

The Great Pyramid of Khufu is the last surviving wonder of the world – and it is just one of 138 pyramids remaining in Egypt, an enduring symbol of the Pharaoh’s eternity. Why and when were these great structures made – what were the hidden meanings behind their magnificence? This Egyptologist-led course will serve to dispell some of the mysteries and myths surrounding the pyramids of Egypt – and reveal some surprising truths behind these awe-inspiring edifices. Students will get an intriguing and insightful introduction into the history, architecture/design, builders and chronology of the Egyptian pyramids. We will also learn about the legendary kings, architects, archaeologists, builders and explorers who are essential players in pyramid history

3. Age of the Pharaohs: A whirlwind history of Ancient Egypt

Spanning more than 3000 years, Ancient Egypt is among the greatest civilizations the world has known. Join us for a whirlwind journey – from the time before the Pyramids through the birth of language and religious thought, through the Valley of the Kings and Tuts golden treasures, Ramses triumphs — all the way to the Greeks and Romans. This course will take you on a rich and engaging adventure exploring the great events, characters, beliefs and tremendous feats of art and architecture that characterized this magnificent era. You will achieve a certain understanding of the course of Egyptian history while you remain endlessly fascinated by these great ancient people.

4. Wonders of Egypt: The Great Tombs, Temples and Towns of the Pharaohs

 They are some of the most storied ancient sites in the world. And the greatest wonders of man. The great buildings and architectural works of the ancient Egyptians never fail to mesmerize. Who built them? Why and how were they constructed? How were they conceived and used by kings, priests and commoners?  And what did they look like 3000 years ago? From the Pyramids of Giza and King’s valley to Karnak Temple… Come take an armchair tour down the Nile with Egyptologist Laura Ranieri Roy and explore in-depth the awe-inspiring pyramids, towns, temples and structures of this great civilization that continue to make Egypt a land of endless fascination.

5. Fall of Egypt: From Ramses to the Arab Conquest

Foreign invasions, decentralization, mass immigration: the greatness that was Egypt underwent a turbulent millennium of change, resurgence and finally decline. After the golden age of the great Pharaohs, Egypt was ruled by a rotating cast of colourful foreign kings and conquerors… from the Libyans and Nubians through the Assyrians to the Greeks and finally the Romans. With the coming of Christianity, the final vestiges of its great pagan culture was finally erased. This exciting course will tell the story of Egypt’s dramatic and often poorly understood fall from greatness, from 1000 BCE through 600 AD, with fascinating characters like Ramses III, Taharqa, Alexander the Great and Queen Cleopatra as lead players in the endlessly intriguing drama

6. The New Kingdom Temples of Ancient Egypt

Great houses of the gods. Mansions of millions of years for resurrected kings. Cult centres of magnificence, pomp and circumstance where lavish festivals were held. The Great Temples of Egypt’s New Kingdom continue to mesmerize visitors even in their colossal-ruined state today. How were these great places built? What was the symbolism at play? How did they function as the centre of society? And what about the great rituals and celebrations enacted within their sacred walls?

In this 4-part course, we will enter the temples to reveal their many secrets. We will also take a look at iconic temples: Temple of Seti at Abydos, Denderah Temple, Luxor Temple, The Great Aten Temple, Hatshepsut Temple & Medinet Habu, Ramses III last great temple of Pharaonic Egypt.

7. Egypt in 50 Objects (Art course)– Masterpieces of Pharaonic civilization

8. The Greeks in Egypt – details on request

9. Egypt and France – details on request

One hour to 1.5 hour Lectures on Ancient Egypt

More detailed descriptions available upon request

1. Masterpieces of Egyptian Art (Cairo Museum)

2. The Black Pharaohs: The Nubian Dynasty of Egypt

3. King Akhenaten: Mad Tyrant or Tragic Hero

Discover the drama of the Amarna period and meet Egypt’s most eccentric king

4. Valley of the Kings: Explore Egypt’s Most Famous Tombs

Learn about the history, building and decoration pattens in King’s Valley

5. Hieroglyphics 101: Write Like a Pharaoh (and learn the history of this ancient language’s rediscovery)

6. Flora of the Pharoahs

The trees, flowers, fruits and gardens of Ancient Egypt

7. Cairo: A Vibrant and Victorious city

Immerse yourself in the history and wonders of this storied city

8. Tutmania

The discovery of the wondrous tomb of King Tutankhamun – and how it ignited the world.

9. 1000 miles up the Nile

A travel talk that takes the listener on a wonderful, visual journey up the Nile, visiting the sites

10. Canadians on the Nile

Learn how Canadians like ROM founder Charles Currelly and 19th century intrepid explorers from Niagara, Cobourg and Montreal traveled up the Nile and made an impact on archaeology and Ancient Egypt collections in Canada

11. Hair in Ancient Egypt

Wigs, hair pieces, moustaches and the latest coiffures. Learn how the Egyptians cared for their hair – and the fashions that defined. We will look at some wonderful Egyptian art and artifacts,

12. Fur-ever Friends – Dogs and Cats in Ancient Egypt

From pets to hunting companions to deities revered in shrines, learn about the important and varied roles dogs and cats played in Ancient Egypt.

13. The Mummy!

Learn about mummification practices in Ancient Egypt.

Testimonials

“…Your knowledge of Egyptian history is really impressive and one could tell how happy our members were with the session, as well as the whole course.  You provided them with both ancient and current information and … I think your great love for Egypt and its history is very obvious.”

Sheryl Danilowitz, Director. Later Learning in Retirement, Glendon College

Laura-these last eight weeks have been wonderful. You obviously love your work and Egypt.Thank you for giving such a fabulous picture of Egypt,the findings of the tombs, and so many great stories.I almost felt I was there with you.

 

Jean

“I am thoroughly enjoying your lectures on ancient Egypt…  you make the lectures very alive.

Thanks for making a complicated history of the pharoahs so easy to follow”

 

Julie

“Your lectures are the highlight of this entire pandemic!!! Your mastery of the knowledge, your unique experiences and your joyful presentations skills sharing this information is extraordinary.”

 

Ruth

“I have attended a great many lectures, talks and so on on Egypt, but yours is the first one that has been comprehensible.”

 

Bill

“I would like to join the chorus of other members of your class to say “thank you” for the wonderful course on King Tut and the treasures found in his burial site. The course has given me much appreciation for an ancient civilization that I was not fully aware of nor of the tremendous effort it takes to uncover sites that hides such civilizations.

Thank you also for the additional resources you sent us that added and reinforced the depth and breath of what people like Carter and his team endured to uncover Tutankhamun’s burial site.

I regret being unable to go to Egypt to see these sites for myself but this has been the next best thing!”

 

Yoko

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