Botanic Japan: visualising science – the Japanese collection at Kew

Botanic Japan: visualising science – the Japanese collection at Kew

Friday 11th November 2016, 14.00-16.00
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

One of the most beautiful, colourful and precise of all technical drawings, botanical art has taught us much about the complex world of botany and continues to enthral many of us to this day. Its history is rich and extensive, and the horticultural regions covered is equally vast. As Japan engaged with the West, botanical images of Japanese plants and flowers were relayed back to Europe by Westerners. They appeared as reproductions in much coveted publications such as Philipp Franz Balthasar von Siebold’s Flora japonica (1835–1870) and Engelbert Kaempfer’s The History of Japan (1727), and stoked curiosity and imagination about the flora and fauna of the lands in the Far East. As part of the Toshiba lectures in Japanese art and science, the Sainsbury Institute invites Masumi Yamanaka, one of the most celebrated botanical artists working at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, to provide a guide to the world of horticultural images. Joined by Dr Mark Nesbitt from Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Masumi will explain why botanic art is much more than pretty watercolour paintings. 


Curator's introduction to the BP exhibition Sunken cities: Egypt's lost worlds

Curator's introduction to the BP exhibition Sunken cities: Egypt's lost worlds

Thursday 22 September 2016, 13.30
Saturday 8 October 2016, 12.00
Thursday 24 November 2016, 13.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking required

A British Museum curator gives a 45-minute introduction to the BP exhibition Sunken cities: Egypt's lost worlds


Kemet: African-centred approaches to Egyptology

Kemet: African-centred approaches to Egyptology

Monday 24 October, 13.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

Sally-Ann Ashton, University of Huddersfield, offers an overview how African-centred approaches to the study of ancient Egypt can be used effectively, with reference to parallels from other African cultures. 


Martin Luther's unruly offspring: the Protestant Reformation and radical critique

Martin Luther's unruly offspring: the Protestant Reformation and radical critique

Friday 16 September, 18.30
Stevenson Lecture Theatre

Professor Hartmut Lehmann, Universities of Gottingen, reveals how Martin Luther attempted to discipline the rapidly growing group of his followers after the first, turbulent years of the Protestant Reformation. Beginning in the 1520s, independent thinkers freed themselves from Luther's teachings, believing in the priesthood of all believers. Some practised adult baptism, others criticised the close cooperation of state and church in Protestant territories, and over time developed their own authorities and networks. Within just a few decades, Luther's unruly offspring came of age.

Presented in collaboration with the German Historical Institute, London. 


Michael Wood on Anglo-Saxon and Norman England

Michael Wood on Anglo-Saxon and Norman England

Friday 14 October, 18.30
BP Lecture Theatre
£5, £3 members/concessions

14 October marks the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, when William of Normandy defeated Harold, the last Anglo-Saxon king of England. In this lecture, historian and filmmaker Michael Wood looks at the Norman Conquest in its time, but also about the way it has been seen since in popular culture, down to the Diggers in the English Civil War, the Victorians and even Ladybird books and the Eagle comic. Behind the later stories, he argues, lies the memory of a catastrophe for the English people, though the roots of English governance and culture created before 1066 would in time re-emerge. 


Pilgrims' progress, pilgrims' rest: camps Hajj roads

Pilgrims' progress, pilgrims' rest: camps Hajj roads

Thursday 6 October, 16.00
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

Pilgrimage to Mecca (the Hajj) is the fifth pillar of Islam – an obligation stated in the Koran for every Muslim sound of body and mind, and with adequate means. In this talk, Claudine Dauphin, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, discusses recent fieldwork investigating the archaeology of two two pilgrim roads in Jordan, running 425km from the Syrian border to the Saudi Arabian frontier. Using RAF aerial photographs of 1953, and applying modern archaeological methods, the main Hajj road was plotted, and six medieval and twelve Ottoman camps and caravanserais were discovered. This study allows us to reconstruct the natural landscapes of Hajj pilgrim resting places in Jordan as ‘sacred landscapes’ – a first in Islamic landscape archaeology. 


Rome and Egypt: a long relationship

Rome and Egypt: a long relationship

Thursday 1 September 2016, 13.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking required

In this lecture, Ross Thomas, British Museum, looks at the long history of contact between Italy and Egypt, from early trade to the rise of the Rome, and Egypt eventually becoming a Roman province after Cleopatra’s downfall. He reveals how traces of different cultures can be found within the archaeological record of Egyptian port cities, including Naukratis and Thonis-Heracleion. 


Sex: antiquity and its legacy

Sex: antiquity and its legacy

Friday 7 October, 18.30
BP Lecture Theatre
£5, members/concessions £3
18+

Sex is fundamental to society. We cannot think about politics, identity or culture without also thinking about sexuality. In his book Sex: Antiquity and its Legacy, Daniel Orrells, explores how ancient words and ideas have left a significant imprint on present-day ideas about desire and pleasure. In this lecture, he outlines how British Museum objects, including a cabinet of 18th-century wax phalluses, have shaped modern sexual identity. 


The Bayeux Tapestry re-examined

The Bayeux Tapestry re-examined

Friday 14 October, 13.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

On the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, Michael Lewis, Head of Portable Antiquities and Treasure at the British Museum, examines the myths and mysteries of the Bayeux Tapestry. 


The Parthenon marbles

The Parthenon marbles

The Battle of Marathon and European identity

Friday 7 October, 13.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

The battle fought at Marathon between Athenians and Persians in 490 BC was not a casual skirmish between blind armies clashing in the dark. Its outcome, Athenian victory, has been hailed as a vital node in the history of modern freedom and European civilisation.

In this lecture, Athena Leouissi, University of Reading, explores the afterlife of the battle, celebrated in the Parthenon marbles, and still remembered in marathon races today. 


The Ptolemaic practical guide to ruling a multicultural society

The Ptolemaic practical guide to ruling a multicultural society

Friday 21 October 2016, 13.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking required

The Ptolemies ruled Egypt between the 4th century BC and the death of Cleopatra in 31 BC. They mastered the art of soft power and spin doctoring, winning the hearts and minds of their multicultural audiences at home and abroad. In this lecture, Heba Abd el-Gawad, Durham University, asks how and why it all worked, and whether modern rulers and governments could benefit from looking at the Ptolemaic system in relation to current multicultural tensions. 


Timing the stars: astronomers, clockmakers and German precision horology around 1800

Timing the stars: astronomers, clockmakers and German precision horology around 1800

Thursday 17 November 2016, 17.30 drinks reception, 18.00 lecture
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

The annual Dingwall-Beloe lecture

Speaker: Dr Sibylle Gluch

Drinks reception before event at 17.30. Lecture begins 18.00. 


Traders and 'men of bronze': the Greeks in Egypt

Traders and 'men of bronze': the Greeks in Egypt

Monday 3 October 2016, 13.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking required

The ancient Greeks began to visit and settle in Egypt from the 7th century BC onwards. One of the key centres of contact and exchange was the mixed Egyptian-Greek trading post of Naukratis, 'sister' port of Thonis- Heracleion and the subject of new research at the British Museum. In this lecture, Alexandra Villing, British Museum, reveals how the excavations since 2012 are shedding new light on early encounters and the ensuing long-term exchange, which transformed both Greek and Egyptian culture.