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Studying Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia at University
A Conference for Sixth-Formers

The Royal Asiatic Society and The British Museum, London

Saturday 4th March 2017

Booking now closed


The Judgment of Ani 

Egypt and Mesopotamia (modern Iraq; ancient Sumer, Assyria and Babylon) bequeathed to posterity some of the most fascinating remains from all of the ancient world.  Today it is possible to learn the languages, study the artefacts, and reconstruct the most varied aspects of these ancient civilisations in astonishing detail.

But since these subjects are not offered at A level, few sixth-formers are aware that they exist as University subjects; indeed, many A level students might never have had the opportunity to learn about these cultures.

The purpose of this one-day conference is to give sixth formers an opportunity to explore what it is like to study Egypt and Mesopotamia at British Universities: to see what makes the subject area so intellectually and culturally exciting, learn about the various degree courses, and understand what admissions tutors are looking for.

The programme will include talks about careers, information on admissions, and the opportunity to meet current students and academic staff from many of the institutions in the UK that teach these subjects, including: Cambridge, Oxford, UCL, Liverpool, Durham, Birmingham, Cardiff, Reading and Swansea. There will also be gallery tours (led by current staff and students) and sample lectures.


The British Museum, Entrance to Gallery 9

Teachers are welcome to bring groups, but individual students and teachers are equally welcome. This is, in essence, a nation-wide Open Day for the subject area at large.

*Attendance is free.

The event is organised by the Division of Archaeology, University of Cambridge, in partnership with the Royal Asiatic Society and the British Museum. It is sponsored by the London Centre for the Ancient Near East.  Address any queries to: Dr Martin Worthington (

 The "Cyrus Cylinder"


Travel bursaries

The deadline for applying for travel bursaries (11th February) has expired, but we are still prepared to consider applications from students at state schools on a first-come, first-served basis.  Applicants should write to .



Download provisional programme here: Programme of Events

09.30-10.00 REGISTRATION
10.00-10.05 Martin Worthington, University of Cambridge Welcome and Introduction
10.05-10.20 Alice Stevenson, UCL Metal and Society in Predynastic Egypt
10.20-10.35 Yulia Chmelenko, University of Birmingham The Sacred Tree in Ancient Assyria and Adjacent Cultures
10.35-10.50 Hratch Papazian, University of Cambridge Ancient Egypt (re-)animated
10.50-11.05 Yağmur Heffron, UCL Mesopotamia: A History in Mud
11.05-11.20 BREAK
11.20-11.35 Paul Nicholson, University of Cardiff Excavation and Experiment in Egyptian Archaeology: the Case of Akhenaten's Glass
11.35-11.50 Monica Palmero Fernandez, University of Reading The Sumerians and the Royal Cemetery of Ur
11.50-12.05 Gemma Wood, Swansea University Egypt's First Ladies - the importance of royal women in ancient Egypt
12.05-12.20 Selena Wisnom, University of Oxford Will the far right triumph in France? Asking the entrails
12.20-13.05 LUNCH
13.05-13.20 Violaine Chauvet, University of Liverpool The Decoration of Private Tombs as Reflection of Social and Cultural Values
13.20-13.35 Magnus Widell, University of Liverpool Assyriology: Everything you always wanted to know
13.35-13.50 Andreas Winkler, University of Oxford Egyptian Divination
13.50-14.05 Kathryn Stevens, Durham University Graeco-Babyloniaca
14.05-14.30 CAREERS PANEL Various
15.00-15.45 Gallery Tour 1
15.45-16.15 Treasure Hunt
16.15-17.00 Gallery Tour 2

Note - the event starts and ends in different places (the Royal Asiatic Society, which is near Euston station, and the British Museum, which is a 15 min. walk away)



Future editions

This is the second time the conference is being run, and we are hopeful it will become an annual fixture.  If you would like to be kept up to date for next year, please sign up to the Cambridge Archaeology Outreach Mailing List.


Relevant University Open Days

For those who cannot come to London on March 4th, here are the dates of relevant Open Days and other events:


Egypt and Mesopotamia are represented at Open Days and other events run by the Division of Archaeology.  Contact person: .


2017 Open Days


2017 Open Days

Virtual Open Day


2017 Open Days

Course information:


2017 Open Days


2017 Open Days: 17th June, 14th October, 28th October.  Contact person for Egyptology: .


2017 Open Days: Friday 30th June, Saturday 1st July, Saturday 9th September.  Contact person for Egyptology: .


Essay Competitions

Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, Ancient World Essay Competition

Girton College, Cambridge, Humanities Writing Competition

Digital Poster Competition

Oxford University, Wainwright Digital Poster Competition.


Recordings of modern scholars reading Babylonian and Assyrian poetry.

Sven Moons' survey of British museums which include Egyptian artefacts.

Manchester's free online taster courses in Egyptology.

Liverpool, Superpowers of the Ancient World Free Online Course

Reading, Course information


Egypt and Mesopotamia at University : A Conference for 6th Formers held at the British Museum, 5 May 2016