1016: the forgotten conquest of England and reign

1016: the forgotten conquest of England and reign

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

2016 marks the millennium of the conquest of England by (r.1016–1035). Although largely remembered today for the later story of his supposed failure to hold back the tide, 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 'the Great'. In this lecture, Gareth Williams, British Museum, conquest and his subsequent achievements. 


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 French portrait drawings from Clouet to Courbet

Curator's introduction to French portrait drawings from Clouet to Courbet

Friday 25 November 2016,13.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking required

Exhibition Curator Sarah Vowles gives a 45-minute illustrated introduction to the exhibition. 


Curator's introduction to Maggi Hambling – Touch: works on paper

Curator's introduction to Maggi Hambling – Touch: works on paper

Friday 18 November 2016,13.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free,booking required

Exhibition Curator Jennifer Ramkalawon gives a 45-minute illustrated introduction to the exhibition. 


Curator's introduction to Shadow puppet theatre from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand

Curator's introduction to Shadow puppet theatre from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand

Friday 4 November 2016, 13.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking required

Exhibition Curator Alexandra Green, British Museum, gives a 45-minute illustrated introduction to the exhibition Shadow puppet theatre from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. 


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 and Christopher Spring give a 45-minute illustrated introduction to the exhibition South Africa: the art of a nation. 


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. 


Lawrence and the Arab Revolt: archaeology of a desert insurgency 1916–1918

Lawrence and the Arab Revolt: archaeology of a desert insurgency 1916–1918

Thursday 1 December 2016, 16.00
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking required

Between 2005 and 2014, Bristol University’s ‘Great Arab Revolt Project’ investigated the archaeology and anthropology of the Arab Revolt of 1916–1918 in southern Jordan. The discoveries were extraordinary. Expecting to find only the ruins of Hejaz Railway stations destroyed by T E Lawrence and the Arabs, they discovered instead a vast conflict landscape of guerrilla actions and counter-insurgency tactics unknown to anyone except the Bedouin. In this lecture, Nicholas Saunders, University of Bristol, reveals the Ottoman army camps, railway ambushes, Rolls-Royce armoured car raiding camps, hilltop forts, machinegun strong-points, and a long-forgotten Royal Flying Corps landing strip that all emerged from the desert where modern guerrilla warfare was forged. Ten years of fieldwork investigated the archaeology of conflict produced in less than 18 months, from August 1917 until November 1918.

This event forms the 2016 Palestine Exploration Fund Evans Memorial Lecture jointly with ASTENE. 


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. 


Personhood, the law, and the aesthetics of representation in South Africa

Personhood, the law, and the aesthetics of representation in South Africa

Friday 25 November 2016, 18.15
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking required

In this lecture Jean and John Comaroff, Harvard University, tell of the death of famous Zulu maskanda singer Khulekani Khumalo in 2010, and his dramatic reappearance, to huge public interest, two years later. In unravelling the narrative of this event, they pose the question of how personhood is fashioned in contemporary South Africa, why experimentation in fakery is so common, and how the aesthetics of re-presentation are central to the story. 


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. 


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. 


Sir Charles Warren: Royal Engineer extraordinaire

Sir Charles Warren: Royal Engineer extraordinaire

Thursday 3 November 2016, 16.00
BP Lecture Theatre
Free,booking required

If Charles Warren (1840–1927) is known at all today, it is as the pioneering archaeologist of Jerusalem in the 1860s, or as the Metropolitan Police Commissioner who failed to catch ‘Jack the Ripper’, or as the General who lost the Boer War Battle of Spion Kop. In this lecture, author and historian Kevin Shillington will challenge these limited caricatures by focusing on Warren's whole career, from his early postings in Gibraltar, Jerusalem and South Africa, to his place within the literature of the first ‘Bloody Sunday’ and ‘Ripperology’, ultimately vindicating him from the shame of Spion Kop 


South Africa in the archive: giving new voice to art from the colonial period

South Africa in the archive: giving new voice to art from the colonial period

Monday 21 November 2016,13.30
Stevenson Lecture Theatre
Free,booking required

The British Museum houses important black South African art. As with many other museum collections, a significant number of these objects are the legacy of the colonial period and were deemed primarily of ethnographic interest. Catherine Elliott Weinberg, University of East Anglia, explores how we might give new voice to this art by investigating the archive. 


South African art at its start

South African art at its start

Thursday 3 November 2016, 18.30
BP Lecture Theatre
£5,Members/concessions £3

Join South African scholar David Lewis Williams, author of The Mind in the Cave: Consciousness and the Origins of Art, and Jill Cook, Keeper of Britain, Europe and Prehistory at the British Museum and Curator of the 2013 exhibition Ice Age art: arrival of the modern mind, as they examine the earliest forms of artistic endeavour in southern Africa and discuss what they might tell us about the emergence of artistic consciousness in the region. The discussion includes an illustrated talk by David Lewis Williams, showcasing San|Bushmen rock art and how it is part of an ongoing tradition, a source of inspiration for artists today. 


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. 


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. 


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.