MONDAY 12th OCTOBER 2015
DR. MARK MERRONY
ARCHAEOLOGISTS, COLLECTORS, AND MUSEUMS: REDRESSING THE ETHICAL DIVIDE IN THE FACE OF MODERN CONFLICT
6.30pm – reception in the Garden Room, Wilkins Bldg. UCL,
Gower St, London WC1E 6BT
7.00pm – Joint lecture with the Institute of Jewish Studies
Informed by his diverse career in archaeological publishing, the museum world, and the commercial sphere of ancient art, Dr Mark Merrony examines the ethical issues that polarize archaeologists in their relations with public and private collectors, and he examines legislation in the face of modern conflict in the Middle East and of the possibilities of future reconciliation.
Dr Merrony is director of Ariadne Galleries, London and New York, editor in chief of Minerva Magazine, and a Supernumerary Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford. He published Socio-economic Aspects of Late Roman Mosaics in Phoenicia and Northern Palestine (Archaeopress, Oxford) in 2013. A book entitled The Death of Rome, about the fall of the West Roman Empire, is to appear next year, to coincide with the 240th anniversary of Edward Gibbon’s History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
TUESDAY 3rd NOVEMBER 2015
DR PAUL COLLINS
THE IMAGE OF GOD IN THE ART OF ANCIENT ASSYRIA
6.00pm – Institute of Archaeology, University College,31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1H OPY
Assyria emerged as a significant state in northern Mesopotamia and Syria in the 14th century BC. From 850 BC it expanded into an empire reaching from the Levant to Iran. Throughout its history Assyrian imagery, most famously as sculpted relief panels from royal palaces, focused on the military achievements of the king as well as on his relations with the gods. The monumental sculptures together with small-scale portable objects – especially cylinder and stamp seal – provide a very rich, diverse set of data. Early scenes depict religious or mythical themes within apotropaic compositions, while later images reflect the increasingly god-like nature of Assyrian kings. With the expansion of the empire from the mid eighth century BC onwards, a permanent Assyrian presence was established beyond the heartland. A mixed population and a new multi-ethnic ruling class emerged which shared an “Assyrian” identity and an associated material culture. The relationship between the king and his gods forged an Assyrian world-view. This talk will look especially at images of the gods.
Dr Paul Collins is Jaleh Hearn Curator of Ancient Near East in the Department of Antiquities at the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford. He received his PhD from University College London and has worked as a curator in the Middle East Department of the British Museum and the Ancient Near Eastern Art Department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His publications include Assyrian Palace Sculptures (2008), From Egypt to Babylon: The International Age (2008), and, with Liam McNamara, Discovering Tutankhamun (2014).
WEDNESDAY 16th DECEMBER 2015
PROFESSOR ALAN BOWMAN
DECODING THE PAST: ANCIENT DOCUMENTS AND MODERN TECHNOLOGY
6.00pm – Institute of Archaeology University College,31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1H OPY
In the last two decades modern technology has played a vital role in helping ancient historians and documentary specialists to unlock the secrets of the past. Building on pioneering innovations in visualization, image-capture and signal- processing, experts in Information Technology, Medical Imaging and Palaeography have been able to develop techniques of reading ancient documents which have remained undeciphered or misread for many decades. Professor Bowman’s lecture will describe how these advances have been achieved, with illustrative examples of stone inscriptions from Egypt and Roman writing-tablets from Vindolanda and other parts of the empire.
Professor Alan Bowman was Principal of Brasenose College, Oxford from 2010-2015. He was previously Student (tutorial fellow) at Christ Church, Oxford and Camden Professor of Ancient History and Fellow of Brasenose College. He was President of the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies from 2000-2004 and is currently Director of the Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents, University of Oxford and Vice-President (Humanities) of the British Academy. His research has focused on the social and economic history of Egypt from Alexander the Great to the Arab Conquest, on the Greek papyri and inscriptions from Egypt and the Middle East, the economy of the Mediterranean world under Roman rule, the Vindolanda Writing-Tablets and the application of technology to the study of Ancient Documents. Current research projects include The Oxford Roman Economy Project and the Corpus of Ptolemaic Inscriptions. He is the author of Egypt after the Pharaohs (British Museum Press, 2nd ed. 1996) and Life and Letters on the Roman Frontier: Vindolanda and its People (British Museum Press, revised edition 2003).
Organised jointly with the Institute of Archaeology, University College, London
All welcome. Admission free. No ticket required. Enquiries 020 8349 5754