1016: the forgotten conquest of England and Cnut's reign

1016: the forgotten conquest of England and Cnut's reign

Thursday 15 December 2016, 13.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking required

2016 marks the millennium of the conquest of England by Cnut (r. 1016–1035). Although largely remembered today for the later story of his supposed failure to hold back the tide, Cnut was one of the most successful early kings of England. He forged a North Sea empire that included Denmark, Norway and England and is remembered in Denmark as Cnut 'the Great'. In this lecture, Gareth Williams, British Museum, explores both Cnut's conquest and his subsequent achievements. 


Curator's introduction to South Africa: the art of a nation

Curator's introduction to South Africa: the art of a nation

Thursday 10 November 2016,13.30 (JG)
Thursday 1 December 2016,13.30 (CS)
Thursday 19 January 2017,13.30 (JG)
Thursday 9 February 2017, 13.30 (CS)
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking required

Exhibition Curator's John Giblin (JG) and Christopher Spring (CS) give a 45-minute illustrated introduction to the exhibition South Africa: the art of a nation


Istanbul: the world's desire

Istanbul: the world's desire

Tuesday 27 January 2017, 18.30
BP Lecture Theatre
£5,Members/concessions £3

For the past decade, award-winning historian, author and broadcaster Bettany Hughes has been researching the life and the history of one of the greatest cities on earth – Istanbul. Following the publication of her newest book, Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities, she illuminates the latest archaeological discoveries that allowed her to explore Istanbul's fascinating prehistoric roots and chart the story of a city across six millennia – a city whose influence is racing up the contemporary political agenda. 


Olga Tufnell: life of a 'Petrie Pup'

Olga Tufnell: life of a 'Petrie Pup'

Thursday 12 January 2017, 16.00
BP Lecture Theatre
Free,Free booking required

John MacDermot, retired Professor of Medicine and Therapeutics and former Head of Undergraduate Medicine at Imperial College London, gives a lecture on the life of Olga Tufnell (1905–1985), a distinguished British archaeologist whose work focused on the Middle East. As a young woman, she was appointed as an assistant to Sir William Flinders Petrie at University College London, where she worked on the preparation of exhibitions and similar tasks. Petrie invited her to join his last excavation in Egypt and later the excavations at Tell el-Fara and Tell el-Ajjul in Palestine. Having gained considerably in experience and knowledge, she then joined James Starkey at the excavation of Tell ed-Duweir (Biblical Lachish). Following Starkey's death in 1938, the task of writing the extensive excavation report fell largely on Tufnell. In later life, she developed her interest in costume, jewellery and amulets, and she spent the last 25 years of her life in a collaborative study with William (Bill) Ward on the Bronze Age scarab seals of Palestine. 


Romance and connoisseurship: the Wallace and Frick Collections and the British Museum

Romance and connoisseurship: the Wallace and Frick Collections and the British Museum

Thursday 23 February 2017, 13.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free,booking required

Hilary Williams, British Museum, discusses a gilded age in the history of connoisseurship.
The Wallace Collection, amassed by Sir Richard and Lady Wallace, opened as a public institution in 1897. Shortly after, it was visited by the American Henry Clay Frick. He was inspired to create another such collection of quality, The Frick Collection, New York, using the good services and inside knowledge of the Wallaces' Private Secretary and Trustee Sir John Murray Scott. Fascinating connections and connoisseurship of this era link with the Rothschild property at Waddesdon Manor, the Sackvilles of Knole, American banker and art collector J P Morgan, art historian Bernard Berenson and influential art dealer Lord Duveen, who funded the British Museum gallery in which the Parthenon sculptures are displayed. 


The Mildenhall Treasure: fine dining in Roman Britain

The Mildenhall Treasure: fine dining in Roman Britain

Thursday 2 February 2017, 13.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking required

Richard Hobbs, British Museum, will present new research on the Mildenhall Treasure, one of the Museum's most iconic groups of objects. After the lecture, he will be signing copies of his new book The Mildenhall Treasure: Late Roman Silver Plate from East Anglia. 


The Roman elite in ancient Pompeii: private benefactors and public gratitude

The Roman elite in ancient Pompeii: private benefactors and public gratitude

Friday 17 February 2017, 18.00-19.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

In this lecture, using evidence from Pompeii, Professor Mario Torelli, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Rome, will show how the funding of public works secured advancement in the ancient world.

Success in high public office in the Roman world was often achieved through the funding of public works. In return benefactors received a variety of special honours and distinctions, including honorary statues, and ultimately grand funerals and elaborate tombs.

In the late Republican and early imperial periods, prior to the centralisation of executive and fiscal powers in the emperor, finance to build temples and other public works was raised through donations from members of the senatorial aristocracy in Rome and by the wealthy elite in the rest of Italy and in the provinces. These donations could secure the prestige and electoral success essential for the ruling classes to secure high public office. 


The Romans who shaped Britain

The Romans who shaped Britain

Thursday 8 December 2016, 13.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free,booking required

For nearly 400 years, Britannia was part of Rome's European empire. It was not an entirely easy relationship, and a succession of ambitious politicians (including the piratical Carausius and the first Christian emperor, Constantine) used the island as a springboard to defy central government. Sam Moorhead, British Museum, and David Stuttard, authors of The Romans who shaped Britain, tell the story of the province’s place in the Roman Empire and the flamboyant, conniving and ambitious characters who shaped it until Britannia's exit around AD 409.Followed by a book signing. 


The archaeology of precolonial art in southern Africa

The archaeology of precolonial art in southern Africa

Saturday 28 January 2017, 13.30
Stevenson Lecture Theatre
Free, booking required

Southern Africa has produced the oldest evidence for art on the continent and boasts one of the largest and best understood traditions of hunter-gatherer rock art in the world. It is also home to a rich heritage of other forms of art in clay, metal, basketry and other media. Informed by what anthropology can tell us about their meaning, Peter Mitchell, University of Oxford, explores some of these traditions as they are represented in the region's archaeological record.