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Wood-cut paper painting of a Japanese scene.

Talks and events

Conversations with international subject experts
Our talks, lecture series and events are conducted by experts and leading academics and artists.

Upcoming talks and events

Ancient Rome Activity Day

Event type: free children's activity day
Date and time:
 Wednesday 2 October 2019, 10am–4pm
Venue: Nicholson Museum
The University of Sydney (Camperdown/Darlington Campus)
Entry: free

Come to the Nicholson Museum these school holidays and enter the world of ancient Rome. Play Roman-themed games, dress up in a toga, create your own Roman amulet and handle objects once used by ancient Romans.

Our very own archaeologists and the education team will be on-hand to answer all your questions.

Activities are aimed at children aged 5–12 years old and run through the day, there is no need to book.

A photograph of a lush green field with a large grassy mound in the background dotted with trees.

The military fortress, garrison and ramparts at the Viking-Age town of Birka, Sweden © Thoeming 2015.

Vivified Vikings

Event type: public lecture
Date and time:
 Saturday 5 October 2019, 2–3pm
Venue: Nicholson Museum
The University of Sydney (Camperdown/Darlington Campus)
Entry: free

Join us for a lecture by Dr Alix Thoeming in our new series Travellers in Time.

The Vikings have long had a PR problem.

Historically we have understood the Viking Age as beginning with the devastation of Lindisfarne Abbey by the furious Northmen and ending with three Viking kings fighting each other for control of England – more mutually assured destruction than a meeting of the minds. But was this image of blond-haired berserk barbarians rampaging across the UK and Europe a reality, or is what the medieval chroniclers called the Mare Barbarum, the Barbarian Sea, an artefact of history? This talk will present recent developments in the archaeological investigation of the Viking Age, answering this question and plotting the course for research from here.

Alix Thoeming was awarded her PhD in 2019 from the University of Sydney, for a thesis on the topic of Viking Age towns and early urbanism in the Baltic. She works as a sessional academic at the same institution and is hoping to take up a postdoctoral position at Aarhus University in Denmark in 2020 exploring the topic of reflexivity in Viking Age archaeological research.

Book now

View from a boat filled harbour with a large sand covered hill in the background dotted with tombs.

Rock tombs of the Old and Middle Kingdom necropolis of Qubbet el-Hawa, West Bank of Aswan, Egypt; Martin Bommas.

Osirian Cult Songs: How noisy were Ancient Egyptian funerals?

Event type: public lecture
Date and time:
 Wednesday 16 October 2019, 6 for 6.30pm
Venue: Nicholson Museum
The University of Sydney (Camperdown/Darlington Campus)
Entry: $40 for the general public, $30 for Friends of the Nicholson Museum and their guests, $10 for students

Join us at the Nicholson Museum for a lecture by Professor Martin Bommas, Director of the Museum of Ancient Cultures at Macquarie University.

While lamentations of Isis and Nephthys are well studied, Osirian songs performed during funerary processions have so far escaped scholarly attention. This talk will report on the discovery of Osirian Cult Songs, the genre and corpus of texts as well as their use as performative texts during the Old and Middle Kingdoms. Deeply embedded in the cult of Osiris and a key element of funerary rituals, these songs were communicated through mourners and priests. Based on recent archaeological discoveries from the cemetery of Qubbet el-Hawa, Aswan, the talk will also briefly explore the funerary landscape that provided the setting for the performance of these songs.

Martin Bommas is Professor and Museum Director at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, and Director of the Qubbet el-Hawa Research Project (QHRP) in Aswan, Egypt. Between 2006 and 2018 he was Reader in Egyptology at the University of Birmingham and Curator of the Eton Myers Collection of Ancient Egyptian Art. Between 2013 and 2018 he was Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, and between 2016 and 2017 Scholar at the Getty Research Institute at the Getty Center, Los Angeles.

Featured image (top of the page): Kunisada/Toyokuni III Utagawa, View of fast shooting by Hon' omaru Shoshun, Edo, Japan 1847 (detail)