Petra, famous for its hundreds of rock-cut tombs, was a great trading centre of the ancient Arabs on the edge of the desert. This lecture will use the archaeology, architecture, and art of Petra to reconstruct the trade routes, the technology, the everyday life, the hybrid culture, and the death rites of the Nabataean Arabs who occupied the city. We will discover a city on the edge in every sense – standing between desert and cultivated land, between nomadism and civilisation, between Middle Eastern culture and Graeco-Roman classicism: an exotic Oriental mix in a stunning mountain landscape.
The ancient Egyptians had the most extraordinarily elaborate burial practices and funerary beliefs. In this lecture I shall explore the mysterious world of the Ancient Egyptian afterlife through the exploration of the art on the walls of their tombs. I shall focus on the tombs of the New Kingdom period (c1500 – c1000 BC), when Egypt was at the height of its power and prosperity under pharaohs such as Tutankhamun and Ramesses II. I shall explore the scenes on the walls of royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings, the nearby tombs of their high officials, and the small but colourful tombs of the artists responsible for all funerary art on the west bank at Luxor during this time. I shall also introduce you to the stunning array of funerary goods with which they chose to be buried – both a feast for the eyes, and of much religious significance.
Lucia Gahlin is a specialist in the archaeology of Ancient Egypt and has been leading archaeological tours to Egypt for over 20 years. She is an Honorary Research Associate at University College London’s Institute of Archaeology.
She has taught Egyptology for the Universities of London (Birkbeck College and UCL), Reading, Surrey, Sussex, Warwick, Bristol and Exeter. Lucia has worked at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology at UCL, and continues to teach with objects in this museum, one of the world’s most important collections of Egyptian antiquities. She has been a Trustee of the Egypt Exploration Society, is Chair of the Friends of the Petrie Museum and Co-Director of Bloomsbury Summer School at UCL, providing short courses on Ancient Egypt and the Ancient Near East. Her areas of special interest are Ancient Egypt's social history, settlement archaeology and the rituals and beliefs of daily life. She has worked as the Small Finds Registrar at the archaeological site of Tell el-Amarna in Middle Egypt, and is author of books including Egypt: Gods, Myths and Religion.