Abydos: the sacred land at the western horizon

Abydos: the sacred land at the western horizon

Thursday 9 July & Friday 10 July 2015, 10.00-18.00
BP Lecture Theatre
Colloquium:£50, Members/concessions £30
Joint ticket (Colloquium and Sackler lecture) £65, Members/concessions (Colloquium and Sackler lecture) £40
Undergraduate and postgraduate students (UK Universities) £20 for joint ticket

Abydos is one of the most fascinating sites of Egypt. Chosen as the burial ground for the first kings of Egypt, it inevitably became a site of great antiquity, and its ancient sanctity may have been a factor in conferring legitimacy on the royal individuals buried there. The site soon became the cult centre for Egyptís most popular god, Osiris, who ruled the netherworld and guaranteed every Egyptian eternal life after death. As a result of continued ritual performance, endowments and pilgrimage, a vast landscape of chapels and tombs, temples and towns, developed. For millennia, Abydos was one of the most consecrated sites of Egypt. Since the end of the 19th century, archaeologists have made surprising discoveries revealing the historical and cultural richness of the site. This colloquium aims at contextualising the most recent fieldwork by including object studies and research on broader patterns of ritual, urban and economic activity. In this two-day conference, leading academic colleagues will address the social and cultural dynamics of an ever-changing landscape serving a unique ritual narrative.

The Raymond and Beverly Sackler Foundation Distinguished Lecture in Egyptology 2015 will be held in conjunction with the colloquium, in the BP Lecture Theatre, on Friday 10 July at 18.00:
At the gate of the ancestors: saint cults and the politics of the past at Abydos
The lecture will be presented by Janet Richards, University of Michigan, USA.
This can be booked as part of a joint ticket price from this page. To book only for the Sackler lecture a separate event page has been set up

A full programme and abstracts will be published here nearer the time. Please note: when booking a ticket for the Colloquium, only the date 9 July will show during the booking process but any ticket purchased is for both days. Concessions are British Museum Members, Egypt Exploration Society members, British Egyptian Society members, and Sudan Archaeological Research Society members. 


An Etruscan affair: the impact of early Etruscan discoveries on European culture

An Etruscan affair: the impact of early Etruscan discoveries on European culture

Friday 29 & Saturday 30 May 2015
Stevenson Lecture Theatre
£70, Members/students £35

This conference considers how rich and exciting Etruscan discoveries in Tuscany, Lazio and Umbria inspired artists, architects, scholars and some of the earliest tourists.

The conference includes 15 papers and the Barker Etruscan lecture, kindly funded by Graham Barker, numismatist and British Museum Member:
Burials, bandits and bucchero: Dennis of Etruria
Dr Tom Rasmussen, University of Manchester

Includes buffet lunch, lecture and reception on the Friday, and refreshments on both days.

Thanks to our sponsor, the conference has 20 free places available for full-time students: applicants should not book but send details of their course and institution to greeceandrome@britishmuseum.org 


British Museum/SARS seminar: Recent archaeological fieldwork in Sudan

British Museum/SARS seminar: Recent archaeological fieldwork in Sudan

Monday 11 May 2015,10.30-17.50
Stevenson Lecture Theatre
£15.00, £12.50 Members/concessions, £10.00 (SARS members only)

This seminar is presented by the British Museum and the Sudan Archaeological Research Society. It will feature the latest reports from fieldwork in Sudan, including excavations managed by the Qatar-Sudan Archaeological Project (QSAP). The final lecture will be followed by a reception. 


Crisis Through the Ages: The Palestine Exploration Fund 150th anniversary conference

Crisis Through the Ages: The Palestine Exploration Fund 150th anniversary conference

Friday 3 July 2015, 09.30-17.00
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

This conference will explore how different crises have affected the human population of the Levant from the Paleolithic to the First World War, and how populations have reacted. Speakers include Jill Cook, British Museum, Jonathan Tubb, British Museum, Mario Liverani, La Sapienza University, David Kennedy, University of Western Australia, Eugene Rogan, University of Oxford, and Colin Renfrew, University of Cambridge. Registration from 09.00. Followed by a reception at 17.00.  


The Raymond and Beverly Sackler Foundation Distinguished Lecture in Egyptology

The Raymond and Beverly Sackler Foundation Distinguished Lecture in Egyptology

At the gate of the ancestors: saint cults and the politics of the past at Abydos

Friday 10 July 2015, 18.00
BP Lecture Theatre
Sackler lecture and reception only £25, Members/concessions (Sackler lecture and reception only) £20

The Raymond and Beverly Sackler Foundation Distinguished Lecture in Egyptology 2015 will be held in conjunction with the annual Egyptological colloquium. The lecture will be presented by Janet Richards, University of Michigan, USA.

Sackler lecture and reception £25, concessions £20
Joint ticket (Sackler lecture and colloquium) £65, concessions £40, undergraduate and postgraduate students (UK universities) £20
Concessions are British Museum Members, Egypt Exploration Society members, British Egyptian Society members, and Sudan Archaeological Research Society members

The assignment of enhanced status and supernatural power to certain individuals as mediators between other humans and the divine was, and is, a practice spanning the globe. Made more powerful by context, saints are touchstones of place-bound memory for local populations. They and their shrines can also be powerfully mobilised as sources of legitimation for national rulers, often through a rhetoric of ruins and restoration.

In the Egyptian Nile Valley the genesis of such cults lay in the late 3rd millennium BC, in the climate of political crisis, social transformation and religious change that characterised the end of the Old Kingdom. Fieldwork in the Middle Cemetery at Abydos and collections research in the British Museum has led to the discovery of a previously unsuspected saint cult at Abydos honouring the 6th Dynasty official Idy. Initiated at Idyís tomb before the First Intermediate Period, the complex attracted royal support during Intef III's reign, materialised in the construction of a large adjacent cult hall. Dedications here persisted throughout the 12th and 13th Dynasties, and evidence indicates that memory of the ancestor Idy still resonated with local residents, centuries later in the 18th Dynasty.

This lecture will explore the dimensions of the saint cult phenomenon as it played out at Abydos, contextualising Idy within the broader scope of activities and beliefs around Osiris in town, temple and necropolis, within Senwosret IIIís reconfiguration of the ceremonial map, and among the living people who actively inhabited these landscapes.

Please note, to book a joint ticket for the Annual Egyptological Colloquium and Sackler lecture/reception together please visit the main Annual Egyptological Colloquium booking page where joint ticket prices are available.  


What does data have to do with me?

What does data have to do with me?

Friday 5 June 2015, 9.30-16.00
BP Lecture Theatre
Free booking required

This day brings together leading voices from the technology, retail, media, arts and heritage sectors to showcase innovative uses of data, exploring how they can impact on the way you work. Featuring showcases from Google, BBC, The Guardian, News UK, Dallas Museum of Art and Adobe, with more to be announced.