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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thursday 3 November 2016, 13.30 BP Lecture Theatre Free, booking essential
Artist Jill Trappler discusses the Triangle Network projects in South Africa in conversation with Curator Chris Spring, British Museum.
These projects bring artists from diverse backgrounds together to exchange ideas and skills in an interactive studio and workshop environment, supporting and enriching the artistic community as a whole, including Trappler’s own practice.