20 years of survey and excavations at Zoara in the Ghor es-Safi, Jordan 1997–2017

20 years of survey and excavations at Zoara in the Ghor es-Safi, Jordan 1997–2017

Thursday 8 June 2017, 16.00-17.00
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

Konstantinos Politis, Hellenic Society for the Ancient Near East looks at the archaeological record at Zoara – one of the famed five ‘Cities of the Plain’ (Genesis 13), which, according to the Bible, survived the wrath of God while others such as Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed.

It was strategically located at a major crossroad on the southern Dead Sea littoral, making it supremely well placed to take advantage of the region’s diverse agriculture, mineral wealth, and trade opportunities. Substantial Neolithic, Early Bronze Age and Iron Age remains attest to significant settlements there. In later antiquity, Roman, Byzantine and Islamic sources mention its economic prosperity based on agricultural products. Recent archaeological works have confirmed Zoara’s regional importance throughout history, and brought to light exciting new evidence to verify its identification. All this will now be published by the Palestine Exploration Fund (PEF) in a forthcoming volume and presented here by the excavation project director Konstantinos Politis.

Please note the lecture is preceded at 15.00 by the PEF AGM which is open to PEF members only. 


Curator's introduction to Hokusai: beyond the Great Wave

Curator's introduction to Hokusai: beyond the Great Wave

Thursday 25 May 2017, 13.30 - 14.30
Saturday 10 June 2017, 13.30 - 14.30
Thursday 27 July 2017, 13.30 - 14.30
Thursday 3 August 2017, 13.30 - 14.30
BP Lecture Theatre (except 27 July: Stevenson Lecture Theatre)
Free, booking essential

Exhibition Curator Tim Clark gives a 45-minute illustrated introduction to the exhibition Hokusai: beyond the Great Wave.

Please note the Saturday 10 June event features live subtitles for Deaf and hard of hearing visitors. 


Ed Ruscha: a history of detail

Ed Ruscha: a history of detail

Thursday 8 June 2017, 13.30 - 14.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

Briony Fer, Professor of the History of Art, UCL, considers the intensity of vision of the important and influential American printmaker Ed Ruscha. 


Egyptian museums: past, present and future

Egyptian museums: past, present and future

Thursday 13 July 2017, 18.30 - 19.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

As the Egyptian Museum in Cairo – which houses the treasures of Tutankhamun – reaches its 115th birthday, this lecture will provide insights into the history of the museum.

Former director Mohamed Saleh will present the history of the collection and displays, and an insight into day-to-day work of the museum and its staff. Together with Fathi Saleh, founder of CULTNAT, he will continue by showcasing the ways in which new technologies are being used to enhance the museum experience, including in new museums in Cairo and beyond.

The lecture will be followed by a reception, including demonstration of virtual reality interfaces to the tomb of Tutankhamun.

Presented in collaboration with the Egyptian Bureau for Educational and Cultural Affairs, under the auspices of HE Ambassador Nasser Kamal, and with the generous support of Dr Ahmed el-Mokadem, patron and founder of the British Egyptian Society. 


Endlessly creative: Hokusai’s 70 years as an artist

Endlessly creative: Hokusai’s 70 years as an artist

Thursday 13 July 2017, 13.30 - 14.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

Poet, art historian and Hokusai expert Roger Keyes examines the full trajectory of Hokusai's work and creative output over the course of 70 years. Introduced by Tim Clark, Exhibition Curator of Hokusai: beyond the Great Wave


Everything you always wanted to know about money

Everything you always wanted to know about money

Saturday 24 June 2017, 14.00-15.00
BP Lecture Theatre
£5, Members/concessions £3

From the earliest evidence of exchange to the latest in digital currencies and everything in between, money is a creation that has truly changed the world.

In this event, British Museum Curator Ben Alsop picks out a host of fascinating objects and stories – cramming over 4,000 years of monetary history into one hour! 


Hokusai and the art of defying old age

Hokusai and the art of defying old age

Friday 26 May 2017, 18.30 - 19.30
BP Lecture Theatre
£5, Members/concessions £3

Born in 1760, Hokusai was a precocious but also long-lived artist who died at the age of nearly 90. From the age of 60 he engaged himself with new intensity in the mediums of print design, book illustration and painting.

In this lecture, John T Carpenter, Curator of Japanese Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, will explore several of Hokusai’s artistic projects that seem to have specifically addressed fighting off illness, demons of the mind, and decrepitude. 


Hokusai's thought: worlds seen and unseen

Hokusai's thought: worlds seen and unseen

Thursday 22 June 2017, 13.30-14.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

Hokusai did not want to simply capture the world around him on the page. He wanted to bring it to life, together with the unseen forces by which it was animated.

To understand how he did it, we need to think about how he saw the world and what he was trying to say. In this lecture, Angus Lockyer, SOAS, will explore what Hokusai thought about nature, society, history and religion. 


Living traditions: Japanese woodblock printing in the 21st century

Living traditions: Japanese woodblock printing in the 21st century

Saturday 22 July 2017, 13.30 - 14.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

Based on material gathered from several years of research, expert printmaker Rebecca Salter RA explains the traditional practice of Japanese woodblock making, with reference to her ongoing collaboration with Sato Woodblock workshop in Kyoto.

Rebecca Salter is a painter and printmaker. She studied at Bristol Polytechnic and then at Kyoto City University of the Arts in Japan, where she lived for six years. While living in Kyoto she studied traditional Japanese woodblock printing with Professor Akira Kurosaki and has since written two books on the subject. 


Over the hills and far away: interaction across southern Iran in late prehistory

Over the hills and far away: interaction across southern Iran in late prehistory

Friday 16 June 2017, 18.00-19.00
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

From prehistory onwards the Iranian plateau connected the Middle East with Central and South Asia. It is ringed by mountains and piedmont zones with a desert core and was settled by people who traded over long distances from the earliest periods.

In this lecture, Cameron Petrie, University of Cambridge, looks at how people moved across the Iranian plateau and examines the relationship between landscapes, routes, settlements and the dynamics of human interconnection, particularly at the archaeological evidence from the neolithic and chalcolithic periods. 


Silk as currency: examples from Dunhuang

Silk as currency: examples from Dunhuang

Thursday 1 June 2017, 13.30-14.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

In this presentation, Helen Wang, British Museum, shares some of the highlights of the current project Textiles as Money on the Silk Road.

The paintings discovered at the Mogao grottoes, Dunhuang, north-west China in the 20th century, contain a storehouse of information about the silks used and traded across the Silk Road during the time of this important Buddhist site’s usage from the 5th to 13th centuries. But silk was not just about beauty, fashion, luxury trade and religious devotion – it was a form of money.

Presented in collaboration with the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts. 


The Great Wave: the making of a modern icon

The Great Wave: the making of a modern icon

Saturday 27 May 2017, 13.30-14.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

Hokusai’s Great Wave, as it is commonly known today, is arguably one of Japan’s most successful exports, its commanding profile instantly recognisable no matter how different its representations in media and style.

In this lecture, Christine Guth, author of The Great Wave: the Making of a Modern Icon, examines the image from its first publication in 1831 through to the remarkable range of its articulations today. 


The wave that swept the world: Hokusai, Japonisme and the west

The wave that swept the world: Hokusai, Japonisme and the west

Friday 2 June 2017, 18.30-20.00
BP Lecture Theatre
£5, Members/concessions £3
From Monet, Van Gogh and Degas to Whistler, Warhol and Hockney, Hokusai and his contemporary Japanese artists have had a profound impact on western art.

This panel discussion, chaired by John Reeve, Fellow, Institute of Education London, discusses the phenomenon of Japonisme and its enduring influence in the art world today. It also examines the transactional influence of European art on Hokusai and his contemporaries, in light of the fascinating new discovery of six European-style paintings in Leiden, attributed to Hokusai himself.

Panellists include Matthi Forrer, Rijksmuseum Volkenkunde Leiden, Toshio Watanabe, UAL, Christine Guth, SOAS Japan Research Centre, and Tim Clark, British Museum.