Birmingham Egyptology

Fitzwilliam Museum Colloquium: ‘Reuse, Appropriation and Ownership in ancient Egypt’

Two PGR students from the University of Birmingham recently attended the recent two-day colloquium at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge on ‘Reuse, Appropriation and Ownership in ancient Egypt’.

McDonald Institute at the University of Cambridge where the colloquium took place.

The event included talks from a range of international speakers, a visit to the Fitzwilliam Museum storerooms to view objects which had potentially been repurposed, and concluded with the Glanville Lecture of 2019 presented by Dr Koen Donker van Heel.

Many of the presentations and subsequent discussions explored issues of reuse, usurpation/appropriation, and reassigning of specific objects from coffins to statues and tomb decoration, and what this meant in terms of ownership, belief, and identity in their ancient contexts. Discussion sessions often came back to complex issues such as terminology and the need to understand reuse as a practice that was not confined to the New Kingdom/Third Intermediate Period era, though much of our attention typically focuses on these periods. Viewing objects in detail such as the Fitzwilliam’s collection of coffins, like that of Nespawershefyt, also enhanced the discussion!

A recent publication on the coffin of Nespawershefyt from the Fitzwilliam Museum

It was a pleasure to attend the colloquium, and we are very thankful to Helen Strudwick and the organisers for providing support for us to be able to attend.

Forum Sessions 2019

The Forum sessions for next term are now scheduled as follows (all sessions take place in the CAHA Museum, Arts 305, on Fridays 5pm-7pm):

25th January: The Graeco Roman Period

8th February: Personal piety in ancient Egypt

22nd February: No session scheduled (Reading Week)

8th March: Prisoners of War in the New Kingdom (Guest Speaker Marta Valerio)

22nd March: Fakes, Forgeries, and Reuse
The final session of the term will be followed by a BE social!

For topics still to be finalised, information will be posted here and sent via email as soon as possible.

Call for Papers: 6th Birmingham Egyptology Symposium

Birmingham Egyptology are pleased to announce that the 6th Annual Birmingham Egyptology Symposium will be held at the University of Birmingham on Friday 31st May 2019.
The theme will be ‘Belief and Identity in the Ancient World’. The organising committee invite papers from postgraduate students and independent researchers pertaining to their individual interpretations of this theme. This may include, but is not limited to: archaeology, art, language, history, religion, restoration, epigraphy, cultural memory, and modern perspectives of belief and identity.
Presentations may take the form of a 20-minute paper AND/OR an A0 research poster. Abstracts (maximum of 300 words) must be submitted via email to: by Friday 1st March 2019 at 5pm.The full Call for Papers can be viewed here: BE Call for Papers Poster 2019.
Confirmation of the decision will be emailed by Monday 11th March 2019. Following the Symposium, presenters will be invited to submit their papers or posters as articles to be considered for publication in the Birmingham Egyptology Journal.
NB Presenters must make their own arrangements for transportation of posters, when applicable.
For further information, to register your interest or if you have any queries about this event, please contact us at the above email address.

Forum Sessions for 2018-2019

Birmingham Egyptology’s Forum sessions will continue this term, beginning on Friday 12th October (5pm-7pm, Room 305, Arts Building)

The first session will focus on Egyptian mythology and its reception in the modern media through popular stories and conspiracy theories, looking both at ancient evidence for mythology and media coverage of ancient Egypt. This includes modern news stories and the methods of reporting on news and theories relating to ancient Egypt such as the recent sarcophagus discovery, as well as the well known theories on Egyptian time travel, aliens, and more! Please do come along with your favourite myth about ancient Egypt, whether based on fact or fiction, for discussion.

Refreshments will be provided. We will also share our plans for the term including new events, plans for the Symposium, and much more to come!

We hope to see you there.

For future Forum session dates and topics, please see the attached poster: BE Poster for 1819



Displaying Egypt: British Museum Colloquium

The British Museum’s Annual Colloquium for 2018 was centred on ‘Displaying Egypt’, including sessions focusing on context, audience, the circulation of knowledge, transforming collections and reflections on the nature of exhibitions, both permanent and temporary. The event also featured the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Distinguished Lecture in Egyptology, presented by IMG_4442Professor Stephanie Moser from the University of Southampton, and the keynote closing lecture by Dr Tarek Tawfik from the Grand Egyptian Museum (the programme and abstracts for the event can be found here, and it is also worthwhile searching #DisplayingEgypt on Twitter for live tweets and discussion throughout the event).
The colloquium was particularly stimulating for its discussion of the nature of museum collections of ancient Egyptian objects, their perception from Victorian to modern times (including a particularly fascinating talk on the representations of ancient Egypt via Egyptian social media), and the nature of particular collections of artefacts such as mummies (or mummified people) and use of photography, digital technology, and so on. The colloquium brought together a range of academics, museum professionals, historians, archaeologists, graduates, students and more, all interested in various aspects of Egyptology, museum collections and curation, and how we present Egyptian history in public displays. Interesting conversations on a wide range of relevant topics such as colonialism, context and acquisition and progression of displays took place throughout both days. It was clear that further discussion and research will continue to inform current practice on the nature of displaying Egypt; not only in how we can better understand this ancient culture and effectively present its history through museum collection displays, but also how we may address modern perceptions and the desires of modern audiences. IMG_4610 (1)

The Call for papers for the Annual Egyptian Colloquium for September 2019 has now been announced, entitled: ‘Amarna: the lived city’. Further information including deadline and submission details can be found here. This event will include a keynote lecture by Professor Barry Kemp of the Amarna Project.

BE Social Event Saturday 16th June

Birmingham Egyptology will be holding a social event from 1 pm on Saturday 16th June 2018 at The Hop Garden, 19 Metchley Lane, Harborne.

For more information regarding the venue see:

We hope to see you there!


Tea with the Sphinx: Registration Now Open

Registration for Tea with the Sphinx, a two day conference held at the University of Birmingham, is now open.

To register via Eventbrite, follow the link below:

The event includes workshops for PGR/ECRs including sessions on careers in museums and publishing: This same day also includes a networking event open to all delegates:

Birmingham Egyptology Symposium

The 5th Annual Birmingham Egyptology Symposium, ‘Conflict in Ancient culture’ took place yesterday (Friday 11th May 2018), at the University of Birmingham.

We would like to thank the speakers and delegates who attended and contributed to a really enjoyable day. We hope that you also enjoyed the event!

Some of our speakers from the BE Symposium 2018

Some of our speakers from the BE Symposium 2018


Birmingham Egyptology Symposium: Registration Now Open

Please join us for the Fifth Annual Birmingham Egyptology Symposium, ‘Conflict in Ancient Culture’ which will be held in Lecture Theatre 3 (127) of the Arts Building at the University of Birmingham.

Our free event features a range of presentations from postgraduate students and academics on ancient Egyptian conflict relating to language, art, ancient perspectives of Egypt and physical evidence of warfare. We are lucky to also have a wide range of speakers from the UK and Europe joining us for this symposium!

Refreshments, lunch and a wine reception will also be provided.

To register for the event, please do so via Eventbrite:

Our updated provisional programme for the day can be found here: 5th Annual Birmingham Egyptology Programme Updated

Further information about travelling to the University can be found below:


The campus has its own train station, ‘University’, with trains going to and from Birmingham New St in the city centre around every 10 minutes. Going from the city, take a train towards Longbridge or Redditch. University is two stops, approximately an 8-minutes journey, and should cost no more than £2.90 for a return ticket (no more than £2.30 with a railcard).


The nearest bus stop to the campus which serves buses to and from the city centre to the University Campus is that at the junction of Bristol Road and Edgbaston Park Road (the South Gate of the University) – near the Orange Zone on the campus map. Take the no. 61 or 63 from stop NS3 (on St. Martins Queensway, near New Street station and the Bullring shopping centre). Services 98 or X64 will also take you to the North Gate of the University, which is a short 5 minute walk to the Arts Building.

PARKING: We regret that due to major work taking place on campus at the moment, there is very limited parking nearby the University. For the latest up to date information, please visit: Disabled spaces are available next to the ERI Building on Pritchatts Road. Please contact to confirm with the University team if you will need one of these spaces.

A campus map can be found here:

Festschrift in honour of Tony Leahy

As many of our group will be aware, Tony Leahy, Senior Lecturer in Egyptology, retired last year after some 40 years of service to the University. To honour his achievements, a small ceremony was held at the University on 15th February to present Tony with a festschrift:

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As sealed for presentation!

‘A True Scribe of Abydos. Essays on First Millennium Egypt in Honour of Anthony Leahy.’


The book – 265 in the series Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta, published by Peeters of Leuven and edited by Claus Jurman, Bettina Bader, and  David Aston – contains more than 20 essays from scholars having ties with Tony and the University over many years. Further details about the book and a brief summary of its contents may be seen on the publisher’s web site at:




ISBN 978-90-429-3480-1.

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