City Lit Blog

Egyptology Day 2016: Ancient Egyptians and foreigners

Story added 6th Jul 2016

Discover how military conquests and defeats shaped the art, culture and beliefs of the Ancient Egyptians at Egyptology Day 2016. The day consists of three lectures by leading classicists, and a tour of the nearby Petrie Museum/UCL Institute of Archaeology by the former curator of the collection.

When: 29 October 2016

Where: City Lit, 1-10 Keeley Street, London, WC2B 4BA

Book your place

Tickets are £49 for the full day. Click here to book your place online, give our Enrolments team a call on 020 7831 7831, or visit the Enrolments Counter at City Lit. Senior and concessionary fees are also available.

This year's theme

Throughout its long history, Ancient Egypt came into contact with foreign nations through conquest and trade. Egypt was conquered several times by its neighbours and Egypt in turn engaged in battle and annexed other territories. Foreigners can be seen as conquerors and invaders, but eventually this complex relationship brings about renewal and contributes to the development of Egypt’s art, culture and belief system: this is exemplified by the inclusion of foreign deities into the Egyptian pantheon, which were brought to the country during conquests. 

This study day will give you an opportunity to find out more about how Egypt exercised its influence on other nations and vice versa; we will also learn how a multicultural society worked during the era of the Ptolemaic Kings. The day will be complemented by a tour of the collection held by the Petrie Museum/UCL Institute of Archaeology guided by previous curator Rosalind Janssen.


11.00-11:45: "Invaders of obscure race march in confidence in victory against our land" - Michael Duigan, City Lit

11.45-12:00: Tea/coffee break

12.00-13:00: “The Ptolemaic practical guide to ruling a multicultural society” - Heba Hesham, Durham University

13:00-14:00: Lunch break

14.00-15:00: “Ancient Egyptian Thought in the Old Testament” - Lorna Oakes, City Lit

15.30-16:30: Guided visit: Petrie Museum/UCL Institute of Archaeology


Michael Duigan teaches Classical and Ancient History at the City Lit. He has taught at Birkbeck, St Mary's University and the Courtauld Institute. He also leads a Summer School on Ancient Art in Oxford University. Michael acts as a tour guide to archaeological sites and museum collections.

Heba Hesham specializes in the multicultural history of ancient Egypt during the late and Ptolemaic periods. She taught history and archaeology at Helwan University, Egypt and Durham University UK. She is field director of the archaeological survey mission at Minshah, Sohag, and has worked with the Egyptian Museum in Cairo and as assistant curator of an exhibition on Ancient Egypt at Two Temple Place, London. She is currently finishing a PhD on ancient soft power and the role of effective media communication in ancient societies.

Lorna Oakes worked for many years worked as a Special Assistant at the British Museum and frequently gave Gallery Talks on the history and culture of Ancient Egypt and the Near East. She now teaches these subjects at City Lit and U3A.

Rosalind Janssen is an expert in Ancient Egyptian textiles and has published and co-authored several books about life in Ancient Egypt. She was previously a curator at UCL's Petrie Museum and then a lecturer in Egyptology at the Institute of Archaeology. She now holds a lecturing post at UCL's Institute of Education, and currently teaches Egyptology at City Lit and Oxford University.

Further information

>> Contact the Classics Department with any queries at or by calling 020 7492 2717.

>> Click here to view Egyptology Day 2016 on Facebook.

>>Follow the Classics Department on Facebook and Twitter.

>>Click here to find out more about ancient civilisations at City Lit.

>>Click here to find out more about classical languages at City Lit.