Bloomsbury Summer School
Fascinated by ancient civilisations?
We offer anyone with any level of knowledge, inspiring short courses on ancient Egypt and other areas of the ancient world.
News and updates: Bloomsbury Summer School, Study Days and BSS in Egypt
20th January 2021
2021 programme now available and COVID-19 update
Due to the ongoing pandemic and continued partial closure of UCL, we will be delivering the BSS 2021 programme exclusively online up until 5 July. Thereafter, we are planning hybrid delivery combining both online and face-to-face teaching and learning. Courses and study days convened in London will be livestreamed and video recorded. Our aim is to ensure that BSS students from around the world who cannot join us in London may nevertheless enjoy a unique and ever-expanding programme online, prepared by our fantastic team of Course Directors and study day speakers.
Our 1-day hieroglyphs taster day is back by popular demand and will be held online on Saturday 6 March, so do save the date! New for 2021 is the introduction of 4-day online spring courses split across two weekends to accommodate those working during the week, and as part of the summer programme, we are introducing 3-day courses (online and in person), as well as a museum exhibition visit (in person only). Of course, we continue to run our normal 5-day courses with offerings in spring (all online) and summer (online until 5 July, and in person and online thereafter). Do consult our programme page for further details. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions: email@example.com
8th May 2020
Due to the current pandemic and the closure of UCL, we are very sorry to announce that we will be unable to offer the full BSS programme in London this year. Nevertheless, the good news is that we have been working closely with our lecturing team to provide online delivery of many courses in their scheduled time slots, along with a couple of new offerings.
We are therefore pleased to announce that more than half of our programme will be delivered virtually (using the online video service Zoom) as scheduled. Please consult our programme page for further details on courses that will run online and are still enrolling, as well as information about postponed courses. Those who have enrolled already will be contacted directly via email or phone with further details. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have: firstname.lastname@example.org
We wish everyone well and thank you for your patience and understanding as we adapt to these uncertain times. Stay healthy and safe!
31st December 2019
Over 300 attendees across all our 2019 events
Gai Jorayev, Lucia Gahlin and Paul Wordsworth
We were thrilled to welcome over 300 of you at our events in 2019, across our nine summer school courses, one study day, and one BSS in Egypt. As ever, we extend our immense gratitude to our fantastic Course Directors: Dr Elizabeth Baquedano, Dr Bernadette Brady, Dr Iwona Kozieradzka-Ogunmakin, Prof. Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones, Dr Bill Manley, Dr Lidija McKnight, Dr José Ramón Pérez-Accino, Dr Luigi Prada, and Dr Campbell Price; and study day speakers Dr Paul Wordsworth and Dr Gai Jorayev. As always, highlights of our summer courses included the classes taught in the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, and our evening receptions held there and in the UCL Institute of Archaeology.
19th December 2019
Our 2019 summer schools were a fantastic success
Dr Claire Malleson was inspired to change career after visits to the British Museum, and taking courses at Birkbeck College and Bloomsbury Summer School. She went on to study Egyptology at Liverpool University where she completed a PhD. Since then she has taught courses for BSS, and is now Professor of Archaeology at Beirut University, and Director of Archaeological Science for Ancient Egypt Research Associates at Giza. She joined us for one of our Petrie receptions this year to tell us about her new book ‘The Fayum Landscape’. Photo: Mick Oakey.
Our nine summer schools staged in June and July 2019 were a fantastic success. 170 of you attended courses on Ancient Egypt, Assyria and Mesoamerica. You came to us to learn more about ancient/early history, culture, literature, art, religion, literature and archaeology, but also to begin or continue your study of hieroglyphs and/or Coptic. A huge thank you to this year’s course directors: Dr Elizabeth Baquedano, Dr Iwona Kozieradzka-Ogunmakin, Professor Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones, Dr Bill Manley, Dr Lidija McKnight, Dr José-R. Perez-Accino, Dr Luigi Prada and Dr Campbell Price, and to their guest speakers Dr. Sarah Albiez-Wieck Dr Daniel Antoine, Dr Jennifer Cromwell, Lee McStein, Dr Matthias Müller, Professor Paul Nicholson, Dr Nicky Nielsen, and Dr Joyce Tyldesley, Highlights of our summer schools were our special-access classes and evening receptions held in UCL’s Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology (most generously sponsored this year by The Vanellus Trust).
2nd August 2019
Our 2018 programme of events enjoyed by many
BSS Course Director Dr Campbell Price at BSS reception in Petrie Museum, in front of the new display of shabtis (Photo: Gwyn Ashworth-Pratt)
We were delighted to welcome 330 of you at our events in 2018, across our eight summer schools, study day and BSS in Egypt. A huge thank you to our fabulous course directors: Dr Lidija McKnight, Dr Iwona Kozieradzka-Ogunmakin, Dr Bill Manley, Dr José-R. Perez-Accino, Professor Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones, Dr Luigi Prada, Dr Elizabeth Baquedano and Dr Campbell Price; and study day speakers Dr Vivian Davies, Dr Luigi Prada, Dr Susanne Woodhouse and Dr Liam McNamara. As always, highlights of our summer courses included the classes taught in the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology and our evening receptions held there.
6th June 2018
Study Day: Tombs and Temples of El Kab: current fieldwork and research
Vivian Davies, Luigi Prada, Liam McNamara and Susanne Woodhouse during the Q&A at our 2018 study day
Our 2018 study day was a huge success with 150 enthusiastic participants enjoying 4 brilliant lectures given by members of the Oxford University Expedition to El Kab - Vivian Davies, Luigi Prada, Susanne Woodhouse and Liam McNamara. We would like to thank the four speakers for sharing so much of their recent and exciting research with us.
21st December 2017
BSS in Egypt 2018
Dr Bill Manley, Course Director, BSS in Egypt 2018
Another opportunity to join BSS for a course in Luxor. This time, for the first time, we are taking our acclaimed hieroglyphs teaching to Egypt. A new course taught in and around Luxor by the brilliant hieroglyphs teacher and BSS favourite, Dr Bill Manley, with 10 classes, and hieroglyphs-reading at a selection of fascinating ancient sites, including 5 Special Openings of sites usually closed to visitors.
15th December 2017
BSS in Egypt 2017
Our BSS in Egypt 2017 group with Dr Hourig Sourouzian and Dr Peter Lacovara in front of the Colossi of Memnon
24 BSS students enjoyed another fabulous BSS in Egypt. Dr Peter Lacovara taught a great course for us in Luxor: In the Realm of the Sun King: Thebes in the reign of Amenhotep III. This was coupled with relevant site visits including special access to Amenhotep III’s temple remains at Kom el-Hetan, his palace-city remains at Malqata,Tombs of Nobles dating to the reign of Amenhotep III: Djeserkareseneb (TT38) and Horemheb (TT78), and the Tomb of Amenhotep III in the Western Valley. A huge thank you to Dr Hourig Sourizian for a fabulous guided tour of Kom El-Hetan. And a massive thank you to Dr Peter Lacovara for his lectures and tour of Malqata, to Amr El Sharqawy for his extremely knowledgeable guided tours, and to Lee Young and Galal Alsenusy of Egypt Archaeological Tours for their brilliant organisation of this course/tour.
8th August 2017
Our 2017 summer courses, as well received as ever
A group of BSS students enjoying Mick Oakey's workshop on Ancient Egyptian stone carving
We have come to the end of another great summer at BSS. 8 courses attended by just over 150 students of all ages and levels of knowledge. A highlight of Dr Kathryn Piquette's fantastic course on the Technologies of Ancient Egyptian Writing in our final week was Mick Oakey's stone carving workshop.
10th March 2017
Our study day on the Indus Civilisation: a mind-expanding day
Andrew Robinson answers questions at the end of his BSS study day on 8th April
Andrew Robinson, author of The Indus: Lost Civilisations, delivered four fantastic lectures to a great turn-out of 160 of us, keen to discover more about this lesser-known ancient civilisation.
Andrew discussed a civilisation that apparently combined artistic excellence, technological sophistication and economic vigour with social egalitarianism, political freedom and religious moderation. His four lectures were:
- What is the Indus Civilisation? Its Rise, Eclipse and 20th-Century Rediscovery
- At the Sign of the Unicorn and the Swastika: The Challenge of the Indus Script
- A Utopian Society? Technology, Creativity and the Mystery of Indus Decline
- Contested Inheritance: Indus Origins of Hinduism and Indian Civilisation.
We certainly didn’t go home disappointed!
21st February 2017
BSS in Egypt benefits the Petrie Museum
Dr Robert Morkot at Wadi el-Sebua on our recent BSS in Egypt
We are thrilled to announce that we have been able to make a generous donation to further conservation in the Petrie Museum through the actions of Dr Robert Morkot who has waived his BSS in Egypt lecturing fee in favour of supporting the conservation of Nubian objects in the Petrie Museum.
29th December 2016
BSS in Egypt 2017
Dr Peter Lacovara, Course Director, BSS in Egypt 2017
Another opportunity to join BSS for a course in Luxor. This time studying one of Ancient Egypt’s most fascinating pharaohs – Amenhotep III – with Dr Peter Lacovara, Co-Director of excavations at Amenhotep III’s palace-city at Malqata. A series of 10 lectures combined with relevant site visits, including 5 ‘special openings’ of sites usually closed to visitors.
19th December 2016
Bringing you a new study day on the Indus Valley
Indus Valley seal from Mohenjo-daro, c.2000BC
Our Spring Study Day sees the return to BSS of Andrew Robinson, author of The Indus: Lost Civilizations, India: A Short History and Writing and Script: A Very Short Introduction, as he brings us four lectures on the fascinating ancient Indus civilisation.
12th December 2016
What a thought-provoking study day John Romer gave us
John Romer lecturing – December 2016 BSS Study Day.
John Romer’s television programmes and books have inspired many of us, and for many have sparked a lifelong interest in Ancient Egypt. On 10th December we were fortunate to hear John Romer give four lectures at our BSS study day, tying in with his latest book A History of Ancient Egypt: from the Great Pyramid to the fall of the Middle Kingdom.
22nd November 2016
Another wonderful BSS course taught in Egypt
Dr Robert Morkot sharing his insights with BSS in Egypt students at the Temple of Amada.
Our BSS in Egypt 2016 course ‘Nubia: a journey through a drowned land’ in Aswan and on the shores of Lake Nasser was a great success. 19 of us had a fantastic time, very much thanks to our lecturer Dr Robert Morkot, our guide Ahmed El Saghir, and our tour coordinator Galal Alsenusy of Egypt Archaeological Tours. Thank you all!
20th September 2016
Shipwrecks and Sunken Cities:
A day exploring how maritime archaeology sheds light on Egypt and the Mediterranean’s ancient navigation, trade, industry and religion
Peter Campbell and Aurélia Masson-Berghoff
Study Day speakers Paul Roberts and Ross Iain Thomas
Our study day on September 17th tied in beautifully with the current underwater archaeology exhibitions at the British Museum in London and Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. Curators of these two exhibitions, Aurélia Masson-Berghoff and Paul Roberts gave lectures, as did the underwater archaeologist Peter Campbell, and director of excavations at the Egyptian port of Naukratis, Ross Iain Thomas.
3rd August 2016
A wonderful 4 weeks of summer schools
Dr Tim Reynolds demonstrating flint knapping in the BSS Common Room
4 weeks, 8 courses, 161 bookings - July was a fantastic month at Bloomsbury Summer School. Thanks to all our great course directors, guest lecturers, course coordinators, and of course to so many of you for attending our summer schools!
8th July 2016
John Romer returns to Bloomsbury Summer School
John Romer at Medinet Habu
Our December study day will be a rare opportunity to hear John Romer speak in the UK. Come and hear this thought-provoking and charismatic Egyptologist give four lectures to tie in with his latest book: A History of Ancient Egypt Volume 2: from the Great Pyramid to the fall of the Middle Kingdom.
1st July 2016
Autumn study day: Shipwrecks and Sunken Cities
Underwater archaeologists in Egypt’s bay of Abukir on the Mediterranean coast (Photo: Chris Gerigk © Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation)
This day of 4 lectures will focus on this summer’s most talked about topic: Shipwrecks and Sunken Cities: maritime archaeology shedding light on Egypt and the Mediterranean’s ancient navigation, trade, industry and religion. The curators of both current blockbuster underwater exhibitions at the Ashmolean Museum and British Museum will be speaking to us, alongside archaeologists from the excavations at the port of Naukratis in Egypt’s Delta, and the shipwrecks in the Fourni archipelago near Turkey.
15th June 2016
Unique Discoveries and New Ideas: Exciting Times at Hierakonpolis
Our lecturers from left to right: Liam McNamara, Wim Van Neer, Renée Friedman and Stan Hendrickx, with BSS’s Co-Director Lucia Gahlin in the middle. Photo: Peter Phillips
Exciting times were certainly had at BSS last Saturday! Dr Renée Friedman, Director of the Hierakonpolis Expedition brought together eminent members of her team to share their latest excavations and ideas with 170 of us at our Summer Study Day. We went home with our brains whirling with new interpretations and information. A huge thank you to Reneée Friedman, Wim Van Neer, Liam McNamara and Stan Hendrickx for an enthralling day.
10th March 2016
Our Ancient Mesopotamian Magic and Medicine study day
No one makes cuneiform tablets fascinating like Dr Irving Finkel
The British Museum’s charismatic, provocative, and deeply knowledgeable Assyriologist Dr Irving Finkel delighted 175 BSS students on March 5th. All the questions and comments from the audience really added to the day. Very many thanks to Irving Finkel for sharing his extraordinary insights, and so much pre-publication research with us.