NEAF Lectures

NEAF offers a range of public lectures throughout the year of interest to the lay-person. These ocassions are a great way to keep in touch with recent archaeological discoveries, as well as the chance to meet like-minded people who, like you, are fascinated by archaeology.

NEAF 2018 Public Lectures

The Archaeology of Lawrence in Arabia


One of the destroyed Ottoman trains on the Hejaz Railway that can still be seen.

The Archaeology of Lawrence in Arabia
by Dr Stephen Bourke

Wednesday 25 July 2018
6.30 - 7.30pm followed by a light supper

Centre for Classical and Near Eastern Studies of Australia (CCANESA)
Level 4 Madsen Building F09 University of Sydney

Lecture synopsis
T.E. Lawrence’s war was largely fought over the Ottoman Hejaz railway, servicing the pilgrim route from Damascus to Medina. During the war, Ottoman forces struggled to maintain free movement up and down the line, while Arab Hashemite rebel forces under Amir Hussein and his four sons, tried to disrupt communications and wear down Ottoman garrison forces.

Battlefield archaeology, and that specifically concerned with WWI, has largely confined itself to the densely fought-over landscapes of the Western Front in France and Belgium, with ‘peripheral’ theatres of war broadly ignored. The Arabian ‘campaigns’ of 1917-18 have only recently become the subject of research, and rather different methods are required to document key elements in these much less clearly defined battlefields.

This lecture will consider Lawrence’s war in the Hejaz (1916-18), examining key elements in the Hejazi ‘battlefield’, how archaeological research is undertaken, and where the major difficulties lie, before seeking to place Arabian ‘battlefield archaeology’ in a wider scholarly and popular context.

Dr Stephen Bourke directs the Pella Excavation Project, and is current NEAF Treasurer. He has nearly forty years field experience in the Middle East, with interests ranging from Palaeolithic bioarchaeology, through ancient and modern ‘Battlefield’ archaeology, to the biographical histories of key personalities who have shaped the discipline. He had the opportunity to explore the Hejaz railway monuments in a memorable field trip in 2005, carrying Seven Pillars in one hand and an ancient Pentax camera in the other. He dropped both frequently. He quite likes trains.

A booking form with further information can be downloaded here.

For credit card payments, please use the on-line payment system link at the bottom of this page to make a booking.

Colloquial Arabic for Archaeologists

Arabic for Archaeologists

A knowledge of a local language vastly improves your experience when travelling.

The Council of the Near Eastern Archaeology Foundation is pleased to announce a two-day intensive course in “Colloquial Arabic for Archaeologists”. This course will provide learners with an excellent foundation for archaeological work in the Near and Middle East. It will be taught by Ms Ana Silkatcheva, an archaeologist and experienced language teacher who has lived for many years as a member of local communities in Jordan.

Why Colloquial Arabic?

The aim of this course is to equip archaeologists working in the Near and Middle East with the essential colloquial Arabic grammar, vocabulary, and cultural knowledge to successfully navigate seasons of excavation, survey and research in the region. The course will focus specifically on the Jordanian (Levantine) dialect of Arabic, which is easily understood in other countries of the Near East (Syria, Lebanon, Palestine), Egypt, Iraq, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Gulf.

The course is offered at a foundational level which is perfect for beginners and for those seasoned professionals who already know “dig Arabic” but would like a strong basis upon which to build new knowledge. Enrolment is open to anyone interested, not only archaeologists, but be quick - space constraints leave us with a maximum limit of 20 students.

Classes will run intensively on two consecutive Saturdays in the last week of June and first week of July. As this is an intensive class aimed at providing an excellent foundation in the language, we will cover a lot of content within these two days. Your ability to communicate will be built up gently but surely, step by step.

Saturday, 30th June, 10:00-16:00 with 2 x half-hour breaks
Saturday 7th July, 10:00-16:00 with 2 x half-hour breaks

Centre for Classics and Near Eastern Studies of Australia (CCANESA), Madsen Building, University of Sydney

$200 (incl. GST) for the two-day course

Cheques made payable to 'A. Silkatcheva' or cash payments only - these can be made prior to the event or on the day.

As places will be limited to 20, please register your interest by by 27 June 2018.

Download a booking form here.

University of Sydney On-Line Payment System: Public Lectures Only

If you wish to book and pay for your NEAF lecture using a credit card (MasterCard and Visa only), please use the University of Sydney's on-line payment system.

Please select here to proceed to the NEAF Public Lectures payment page

  • In the instance where several lectures are advertised, there is a drop down menu at the top of the page to select the lecture you are interested in attending. Once you have completed your details, select the 'Add to Shopping Cart' button at the bottom right of the page. After checking the details, select the 'Process Payment' button.
  • If you wish to book and pay for two or more lectures, please follow these instructions. Complete your first lecture selection as described above. After you have selected 'Add to Shopping Cart' and have been taken to the 'My Selections' page, USE THE BACK BUTTON ON YOUR BROWSER to return to the NEAF Public Lecture payment page. Once there, select the second lecture you wish to attend and make any changes applicable (such as the number of tickets). When complete, select 'Add to Shopping Cart' again. When you are again taken to the 'My Selections' page you should see both lectures listed. If the details are correct, select 'Process Payment'. Note: if you select 'Payment Home' on the 'My Selections' page rather than using the back button on your browser, select 'General Payments' and then 'NEAF Public Lectures'.