Thursday 30 October 2014, 13.30 (DA) Friday 28 November 2014, 13.30 (DA) Thursday 29 January 2015, 13.30 (JT) Friday 20 February 2015, 13.30 (DA) BP Lecture Theatre Free, booking essential
Exhibition Curators John Taylor (JT) and Daniel Antoine (DA) give a 45-minute illustrated introduction to the exhibition. The event on 30 Oct will have live speech-to-text transcription for deaf and hard of hearing people.
Exhibition Curators Barrie Cook (BC) and Clarissa von Spee (CvS) give a 45-minute illustrated introduction to the exhibition. The event on 1 Dec will have speech-to-text transcription for deaf and hard of hearing people.
Friday 30 January 2015, 18.30 BP Lecture Theatre £5, Members/concessions £3
There are two items in the Museum's ancient Egyptian collection that are associated with alleged curses. EA22542, an Egyptian coffin lid, part of the collection since 1889, has been the source of numerous stories of curse, malignant influence and haunting. The cartonnage mask donated in 1885 (EA24402) also comes with an extraordinary back story. Roger Luckhurst, Professor in Modern and Contemporary Literature, Birkbeck College, University of London, will explore the true and fateful history of the 'cursed' Victorian gentlemen, Thomas Douglas Murray and Walter Herbert Ingram, who donated these items. The stories of these men were well known in Edwardian London. Although they have been largely forgotten, these thrilling tales formed the basis for all the 'curse of the mummy' stories that followed.
Thursday 19 February 2015, 16.00 BP Lecture Theatre Free, booking essential
Bezalel Porten, Hebrew University, discusses a Jewish military colony at Aswan when Persia ruled the Middle East from India to Kush. Their daily life was richly documented on ostraca and papyrus, all written in Aramaic, the lingua franca back to the days of the Assyrian Empire. When the Persian Empire gave way to the rule of the Macedonians commerce continued unabated and chits continued to be written. The only thing that changed was the name of the ruler at the beginning of the text.
A Palestine Exploration Fund/British Museum lecture.
Friday 16 January 2015, 18.30 BP Lecture Theatre £5, Members/concessions £3
The late 18th and early 19th centuries formed a crucial period in German literature, giving birth to the Sturm und Drang movement, Weimar Classicism and Romanticism. This panel discussion will explore the central figure of this period – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and his unique role at the centre of literary developments and in the birth of a national romanticism. The collected tales of the Brothers Grimm will also be examined as popular folk tales that spoke to a nascent nationalism in the early 19th century. Chaired by Angus Nicholls, Queen Mary University, and featuring novelist A S Byatt, Katrin Kohl, University of Oxford, Nicholas Boyle, University of Cambridge, and W Daniel Wilson, Royal Holloway, University of London.
Friday 16 January 2014, 13.30 BP Lecture Theatre Free, booking essential
Andrew Pettegree, University of St Andrews, explores the origins of one of Germany’s most seismic contributions to world culture – the Protestant Reformation. He examines how much the Reformation and the spread of Martin Luther’s ideas were the product of the new technologies of which Luther proved such a master.
Thursday 12 March 2015, 16.00-17.00 BP Lecture Theatre Free, booking essential
Early 19th-century explorers of south-western Palestine concluded that the environs of Wadi el-Hesi had been a productive agrarian region for millennia, but the coming of Islam was seen as the event that ended this sedentary life and initiated a millennium of a semi-nomadic lifestyle that was still practised as they explored the region. With this perspective, 19th-century scholars sought to identify biblical sites, but by the start of the 21st century not a single site in the Hesi region could be identified as a specific biblical town or village and many scholars questioned whether the region was even within the borders of Judah. This was a significant shift in scholarly interpretation from a century earlier. The agricultural nature of the region, however, remained unquestioned. Now, a recent reconsideration of the Hesi region’s archaeological record suggests that it was not farmland tilled by sedentary villagers as earlier scholars thought and the identity of one of the political entities controlling Tell el-Hesi could have been Judah.
Organised jointly by the British Museum, Palestine Exploration Fund and the Anglo-Israel Archaeology Society.
Friday 23 January 2015, 13.30 BP Lecture Theatre Free, booking essential
After 1945 Jews in Germany faced difficult and complex relations with the idea of Germany. Despite this, Jews continued to live in the country. Daniel Wildmann, Deputy Director, Leo Baeck Institute London, and Senior Lecturer in History, Queen Mary, University of London, considers what shaped the political and personal relationships between Jews and Germans in western Germany between 1945 and 1989, and the cultural impact of the massive Russian-Jewish immigration on German Jewry after 1989.
Thursday 15 January 2015, 16.00 BP Lecture Theatre Free, booking essential
Hisham Khatib, former Minister of Energy for Jordan, explores the history of westerners’ observations of the Holy Land through his own remarkable collection of manuscripts, paintings, photographs and maps, which tell a story of a lasting fascination and a quest for understanding.
This lecture is organised by the Palestine Exploration Fund, British Museum, Council for British Research in the Levant and British Foundation for the Study of Arabia.
Thursday 9 April 2015, 16.00-17.00 BP Lecture Theatre Free booking essential
A rare group of enigmatic stone masks from the Judean hills and desert are the oldest human portraits known to us, sketching the cultural and spiritual world of the people who lived in this region 9,000 years ago. The masks were subjected to scientific examinations, together with a mask-like stone item from a private collection, and three masks from the Israel Museum. The results of this study enabled for the first time the examination of yet another mask, known since 1881 and reportedly from er-Ram north of Jerusalem, which has been housed since the turn of the twentieth century in the Palestine Exploration Fund, London. The purpose of the study was twofold: to verify the authenticity of the unprovenanced masks, and, if they were deemed authentic – to investigate their possible provenances through detailed analysis of the patina and sediments attached to them, which may be presumed to derive from their sites of discovery and dating. With Yuval Goren, Tel Aviv University. This lecture is jointly organised by the British Museum and the Palestine Exploration Fund.
Friday 27 February 2015, 18.00 BP Lecture Theatre Free booking essential
The city of Aphrodisias in western modern Turkey had a prosperous late antiquity in which its old statues and buildings were carefully maintained and reconfigured. This classical-looking late antique cityscape is superbly preserved, and its striking remains are essentially those of a successful provincial capital of the 5th century AD. RRR Smith, Lincoln Professor of Classical Archaeology and Art, Oxford University, presents a number of recently studied and some newly excavated examples of sculpture and architecture.
Friday 16 January 2015, 13.30 BP Lecture Theatre Free, booking essential
Bernhard Rieger, University College London, examines the history of the Volkswagen Beetle. Although it was commissioned by Adolf Hitler as a small, inexpensive family car for Nazi Germany, the Beetle became a global icon. Its success hinged on its ability to capture the imaginations of people across nations and cultures. In West Germany, it became the undisputed symbol of the post-war economic miracle and helped propel the country into the age of mass motorisation.