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Fascinated by ancient civilisations?

We offer anyone with any level of knowledge, inspiring and exciting short courses on Ancient Egypt and other areas of the Ancient World.

Latest news from Bloomsbury...

29th June 2015

The Shadow King (book jacket)

Jo Marchant’s 2nd book, praised as “luminous and illuminating” by The Guardian.

Another BSS study day to look forward to

Tutankhamun and Amarna royal mummies DNA, a 2000 year old computer, and the oldest known cave art. Join us for a day with Dr Jo Marchant on scientific research and the ancient world.

Find out more and book your place






13th April 2015

Salima Ikram.

Professor Salima Ikram excavating at Kharga Oasis.

Professor Salima Ikram flying in from Cairo to give a BSS study day

We are very excited that one of Egyptology’s most charismatic lecturers has agreed to give four lectures at a BSS study day in October.

Find out more and book your place






5th March 2015

Irving Finkel

Dr Irving Finkel at our BSS study day on 28th February 2015.

The Wonder of Cuneiform: a passionate exploration of some of Mesopotamia’s most important ancient records

Dr Irving Finkel gave four lectures at our study day on 28th February, that weren’t just passionate, they were a tour de force. He had an audience of 190 captivated by his wit and erudition. We hope very much he’ll visit us again at BSS before too long.




6th January 2015

Stephen Harvey

Dr Stephen Harvey explaining the site at a 'special opening’
of the Sphinx Enclosure (BSS in Egypt 2014).

Announcing BSS in Egypt 2015

Back by popular demand ... we bring you Dr Stephen Harvey with a new course taught in Egypt on The Mighty Ramessides: Egypt’s Nineteenth Dynasty in Focus, with visits to ancient sites including tombs not usually open to visitors: those of Seti I, Ramesses II and Nefertari.






More details


17th December 2014

Pectoral of Amenemhat III

Pectoral of Amenemhat III from tomb of Mereret, Dahshur, Dynasty 12. Now in Egyptian Museum Cairo.

We’re now taking bookings for our 2015 summer schools

Our six 5-day courses in July will focus on learning hieroglyphs; reading inscriptions from the Amarna Period; Old Kingdom Egyptian archaeology; Middle Kingdom Egyptian history and culture; ancient diplomacy and warfare; the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East.

Please do consider joining us for an intense but informal week of learning.





More details


27th November 2014

Dr Irving Finkel.

Dr Irving Finkel and the ‘Ark Tablet’

Announcing our first study day of 2015

We are very much looking forward to welcoming Dr Irving Finkel of the British Museum to BSS. He is set to entrance us with the wonder of cuneiform, exploring ancient records of Mesopotamia with us, including the Ark Tablet, his exciting recent discovery.




For more information and to book


25th November 2014

Dr Paul Roberts.

Paul Roberts takes us to Palmyra at our recent BSS study day.

Mosaics to Mummy Portraits – a great success

Senior Curator of Roman Art and Archaeology at the British Museum, Dr Paul Roberts gave four fascinating and lively lectures for our study day held on 22nd November, exploring the arts, architecture and people of Roman Sicily, Syria and North Africa. A huge thank you to Paul for his wonderful lectures, and to the 165 participants who created such a sociable atmosphere that day.







26th October 2014

BSS students lucky enough to get between the paws of the Sphinx.

BSS students lucky enough to get between the paws of the Sphinx!

A brilliant time was had by all on our recent BSS in Egypt course

Our course on Pyramids was accompanied by many visits to Old and Middle Kingdom pyramids, many of which were opened specially for the group. We would like to thanks Dr Stephen Harvey for 10 superb lectures, Enass Salah for all her wonderful guiding at the sites, and Galal Alsenusy and Lee Young of Egypt Archaeological Tours for all they did to make the course/tour run so smoothly.

And a huge thank you to the 17 of you who chose to join us for a great time in Egypt!


See more photos of this course




18th August 2014

Dr Paul Roberts.

Dr Paul Roberts, Head of the British Museum’s Roman Collections and Curator of the BM’s Pompeii exhibition, captivates a BSS audience at our Autumn 2012 study day. Photo: S. Klinge

Our next study day will take place on Saturday November 22nd: Mosaics to Mummy Portraits: the arts, architecture and people of Roman Sicily, Syria and North Africa

Dr Paul Roberts comes to us still reeling from the success of his Pompeii exhibition at the British Museum, and back by popular demand following his extremely well received BSS study day in 2012. This time he will bring to life some of the most fascinating of the southern and eastern provinces of the mighty Roman Empire.


For further information





14th August 2014

RamessesII in the British Museum.

Four of our courses this year included learning experiences in the British Museum.

Another great summer of BSS courses

Our summer schools are over for another year and we have a great deal to feel good about. We had over 130 participants join us across our six courses. Our Hieroglyphs for Beginners course sold out and our Advanced Hieroglyphs course came close to being fully-booked. Our hieroglyphs teachers Bill Manley and José-R. Pérez-Accino were deemed outstanding, and our other course directors - Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones, Jan Picton, Claire Malleson and Garry Shaw - were all considered fantastic too. So thank you all for another successful programme of summer courses.





10th June 2014

Tutankhamun's pectoral, found in his tomb, now in Egyptian Museum Cairo.

Tutankhamun's pectoral, found in his tomb, now in Egyptian Museum Cairo.

BSS is sponsoring a study day at this year’s Holt Festival: Howard Carter - Artist, Naturalist & Archaeologist

This unique tribute to Howard Carter in the 75th year since his death will be a day of lectures by John Wyatt and Lee Young on Thursday 24 July, deriving from current research and revealing largely unknown but important aspects of the Norfolk man’s life and work.

Attend the study day and visit a week-long exhibition of artefacts and related paintings, augmented by original film and rare recordings of Howard Carter and his colleagues describing their discoveries, together with travel diaries and other ephemera never before exhibited.

For further information and to book tickets visit:





12th May 2014

Paul Collins.

Dr Paul Collins getting excited at our May study day. Photo: Sven Klinge.

Another fascinating study day

Our May study day, Kingship and the Gods: the origins of Egypt, Mesopotamia and Iran, brought together 160 participants and 4 excellent speakers (Paul Collins, Alice Stevenson, Jacob Dahl and Kathryn Kelley) for a day of current research and new ideas.







21st April 2014

Dr Alice Stevenson and Dr Michael Dee.

Dr Alice Stevenson and Dr Michael Dee fascinated us at our March study day.

Enjoying our Spring study days

Our March study day on A New Chronology for Ancient Egypt brought us ground-breaking new research. We're very much looking forward to our May 10th study day on Kingship and the Gods: the origins of Egypt, Mesopotamia and Iran.









17th December 2013

hieroglyphs team Bill Manley and José-R. Pérez-Accino.

Our hieroglyphs team Bill Manley and José-R. Pérez-Accino. Photo: Peter Durant.

Now taking bookings for our 2014 summer schools and Spring study days

Our summer schools in July/August 2014 will focus on hieroglyphs, the tomb-builders village of Deir el-Medina, Ancient Egyptian religion, ‘problem periods’ of Egypt’s ancient past, and court life in the Ancient Near East,

We are also thrilled to be offering TWO Spring study days focusing on the latest research into the emergence of the great civilisations of Egypt, Mesopotamia and Iran.



Arrow right More details




8th October 2013

In Seti I's Temple, Abydos.

In Seti I's Temple, Abydos. Photo by Anne Mitchell.

Our 2014 summer schools

We will be offering six 5-day summer courses on Ancient Egypt and the Ancient Near East again in 2014. The dates will be 14 July – 1 August. Two of our courses will focus on reading hieroglyphs, one for complete beginners and one for experienced readers. Full details will become available very soon.







6th August 2013

BSS students translating the inscription of Ptahshepses in the British Museum

BSS students translating the inscription of Ptahshepses in the British Museum.

Our 2013 summer schools

Our six annual summer courses have sadly come to an end, but they were much enjoyed by over 100 participants, and we are busy planning our 2014 programme of courses on Ancient Egypt and the Ancient Near East.






14th May 2013

Deputy Director Lucia Gahlin introduces our first speaker of the day

Deputy Director Lucia Gahlin introduces our first speaker of the day.

An usual and exciting study day

Our study day on May 11th was certainly a day to get our teeth into. ‘Lost Languages: the enigma of the world’s undeciphered scripts’ was attended by 155 enthusiastic participants keen to find out more about a fascinating subject. We didn’t come away disappointed!






12th February 2013

BSS students exploring 'Vulture Rock' at El Kab

BSS students exploring 'Vulture Rock' at El Kab

BSS in Egypt 2013 – another successful course in Egypt

John Romer gave ten fascinating and thought-provoking lectures on A History of Thebes. He explained the lesser-known features of the Theban landscape. We visited many sites including some usually closed to visitors, including Medamud, Malqata, the temple of Mentuhotep at Deir el-Bahri, and the tomb of Antefoker/Senet. An exciting time was had by all.







19th December 2012

Dr Gunter Dreyer, director of excavations at Umm el-Qaab, explains the tomb of Djer to the BSS group

Dr Gunter Dreyer, director of excavations at Umm el-Qaab, explains the tomb of Djer to the BSS group.

High praise from participants for BSS in Egypt 2012

We're just back from a really fantastic BSS in Egypt with 30 participants. An exciting and innovative course taught in Sohag and Luxor, Abydos and Beyond: a sacred landscape, with daily exploration of fascinating rarely-visited ancient sites, including nine sites usually closed to visitors. A huge thank you to our lecturers Stephen Harvey and Bryan Kraemer, our guide Yusuf Ramsis, and the tour arranger from Egypt Everywhere who made it all happen, Galal Alsenusy.





21st November 2012

BSS Hieroglyphs students

BSS Hieroglyphs students with Bill Manley and José Pérez-Accino at the British Museum (Summer 2012). Photograph by Louis-Phillip Belle-Isle.

We’re now taking bookings for our 2013 summer schools

Immerse yourself this summer in Ancient Egypt and/or Iran. We offer 5-day courses on ancient languages, art, history and archaeology.







16th November 2012

Offering Table

Meroitic on an offering table from Meroe, MFA Boston.

Announcing our Spring study day

Our next study day has been inspired by Andrew Robinson’s fascinating book Lost Languages: The Enigma of the World's Undeciphered Scripts, and we are delighted that this distinguished writer will be giving two of the lectures. He will be joined by specialists Professor John Bennet and Dr Robert Morkot.









20th September 2012

Bryan Kraemer at Abydos

Bryan Kraemer at Abydos

BSS in Egypt 2012 update

We have recently invited Bryan Kraemer to team up with Stephen Harvey, to add additional insights and to give the final two lectures of the programme. Bryan's doctoral thesis is on Abydos as a Place of Ritual Performance and Religious Imagination in Greco-Roman Egypt at the University of Chicago.

He is also a member of the Ahmose and Tetisheri Project and the University of Pennsylvania Expedition to South Abydos, so with Bryan's knowledge complementing that of Stephen's, he'll be a great addition to the BSS in Egypt 2012 experience.








10th September 2012

Dr Paul Roberts at BSS study day

Dr Paul Roberts at BSS study day. Photo: S.Klinge

Another fantastic study day

Dr Paul Roberts, Curator of the upcoming exhibition at the British Museum, Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum (28 March – 29 September 2013) gave us a brilliant study day on these two Roman towns, and the exhibition itself. The160 of us able to attend the day are now incredibly well-prepared for seeing the exhibition, and can’t wait …!






25th July 2012

Amarna talatat relief block

Amarna 'talatat' relief block, Brooklyn Museum

Another six successful summer schools

120 participants of all ages and backgrounds joined us for our summer schools this year. Professor Barry Kemp’s course on ‘Akhenaten, Nefertiti and the people they ruled’ was particularly popular, but the feedback was fantastic for all six courses.

We will be announcing our 2013 summer courses towards the end of this year.






4th July 2012

John Romer with BSS in Egypt 2012 group

John Romer looks across Deir el-Medina with BSS in Egypt 2010 group Photo: B.Burnett

Announcing BSS in Egypt 2013

Following the success of John Romer’s 2010 BSS in Egypt course, we bring you a NEW course taught in Luxor with daily lectures and exploration of ancient sites.








25th June 2012



Announcing our September study day

Next year the British Museum will stage an important exhibition on Pompeii and Herculaneum. The curator of this exhibition, Dr Paul Roberts, will give us a day of lectures entitled Pompeii and Herculaneum AD 79 (Vesuvius, Naples, London).








23rd May 2012

Pepi Pyramid Texts

Pyramid Texts in the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology

Our summer timetables are now available

The timetables for our summer schools are now available for your perusal. If you like the look of a course, go ahead and book as time is running out.

‘Akhenaten, Nefertiti and the People they Ruled’ is fully-booked, and ‘Daily Life Rituals in Ancient Egypt’ is nearly full, but there’s still plenty of choice, so take a look ….








14th May 2012

John Romer

John Romer at Giza

Our Spring Study Day heralded a triumph

John Romer rarely lectures but on May 12th he gave four lectures for us on his latest research. Almost 300 of you attended this study day entitled Ancient Egypt: myth and history, and all agreed that John’s beautifully illustrated lectures were fascinating, entertaining, and wonderfully thought-provoking.

If you would like to read John’s latest theories, then you will find them in his new book: A History of Ancient Egypt: from the first farmers to the Great Pyramid.








23rd February 2012

Bill Manley

Dr Bill Manley

Dr Bill Manley will be teaching hieroglyphs to BSS students this year

We can now announce that Dr Bill Manley will be joining Dr José-R. Pérez-Accino to co-direct our two hieroglyphs courses this year. This is exciting news because Bill is known to many as one of the world’s leading teachers of hieroglyphs, and he is co-author of the acclaimed ‘How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs’ used as the textbook for our Hieroglyphs for Beginners course.









24th January 2012

Stephen Harvey

Stephen Harvey

We're now taking bookings for BSS in Egypt 2012

In response to popular demand, we are offering a course on Abydos directed by Dr Stephen Harvey, who has excavated at the site since 1988. Ten lectures and daily visits to relevant ancient sites, including nine sites usually closed to visitors.










13th January 2012

North Palace Amarna

Barry Kemp’s excavations at the North Palace, Tell el-Amarna

You can now book onto our 2012 summer schools

Why not study hieroglyphs with us, whether you are a beginner or old hand. You could focus on a popular aspect of Egyptology with us – religion, the Amarna Period or warfare. If your interest is the Ancient Near East, you could study life in Ancient Iraq with us.







3rd January 2012

John Romer

John Romer at Medinet Habu

Announcing our Spring study day

John Romer is known to many through his inspiring television programmes and books such as Ancient Lives, The Valley of the Kings and The Great Pyramid, but rarely lectures these days. So we are thrilled at BSS that he has agreed to give not one but four lectures on his latest research for our Spring study day on Saturday May 12th.






29th December 2011

BSS students examine Seti I's broken obelisk at Qubbet el-Hawa

BSS students examine Seti I's broken obelisk at Qubbet el-Hawa

Our 2011 BSS in Egypt course was a great success

We are just back from a wonderful week in Aswan: Dr Robert Morkot, an expert on Nubia, gave a series of lectures on Abu: Gateway to Nubia. Our exploration of the archaeological sites of Aswan was comprehensive (even visiting some additional sites not on the original itinerary) with Robert always on hand to share his insights. A huge thank you to Sinusret Travel, our guide Galal Alsenusy and Robert Morkot.






7th October 2011

Outside UCL

Our courses take place here at UCL

Our 2012 Summer Schools

We are busy planning six exciting summer schools for 2012. We’re not quite ready to announce details. But we can tell you that we will be avoiding a clash with the Olympics by staging our summer courses slightly earlier next year. So we will be running six courses over the three weeks: 25 June - 13 July.





23rd August 2011

Perceptions of Egypt group photo

'Perceptions of Egypt' group photo taken on their 'Egypt in London' walk and talk.

Our 2011 Summer Schools

130 students of all ages and from around the world joined us in July for our six inspiring summer courses. This year we offered courses on Egypt's Predynastic Period and Old Kingdom; the art, literature and perceptions of Ancient Egypt; and the archaeology of the Ancient Near East.

We are busy thinking about next year's programme, but before then we still have places on our Egyptology course in Aswan in December:






20th July 2011

Harvesting Flax

Sennedjem and his wife Iyneferti harvesting flax; their tomb wall, Deir el-Medina.

Petrie Summer Lecture

Bloomsbury Summer School enjoys a close association with the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology. You don’t have to be taking one of our summer schools to attend this year’s Petrie Summer Lecture: Dr Francesco Tiradritti on Egyptian Wall Painting, followed by a reception in the Petrie Museum, on Wednesday 27th July at 6.30pm.





1st June 2011

Tutankhamun in chariot

Tutankhamun firing a composite bow in his chariot. Decorated chest from his tomb, Egyptian Museum Cairo.

The Hyksos Legacy: Technology, Arts and Culture in the Age of the Chariot

160 people attended our 2011 study day on May 14th. The lectures given by Dr Stephen Harvey, Dr Ian Shaw and Dr Keiko Tazawa were stimulating and the ambiance genial.

Look out for announcements about our 2012 Study Day.








Desert RATS DVD7th March 2011

A treasure-house of images and symbols

Bloomsbury Summer School is delighted to promote the latest digital publication by Desert RATS: Rock Art Topographical Survey in Egypt’s Eastern Desert.



To find out more and purchase

Dr Stephen Harvey2nd March 2011

Our study day this year …

We are delighted to be reinstating our annual study days. This year's looks set to be as fascinating as ever: The Hyksos Legacy: Technology, Arts, and Culture in the Age of the Chariot.






A new course for July ....

Come and join us for a week exploring the remarkable art of Ancient Egypt from a most interesting perspective with Dr Stephen Harvey.

This course replaces Shining colours out of fire: Glass and glazes which we have had to cancel because Professor Thilo Rehren has been recently appointed Director of UCL's new campus in Qatar, for which we extend to him the warmest congratulations.

(Right) Scene of Puntites from Deir el-Bahri, now in Egyptian Museum, Cairo







26th February 2011

DrRobertMorkotAnnouncing this year’s BSS in Egypt course …

We will be heading off to Aswan in December for a series of lectures on Egypt’s relations with Nubia taught by a renowned expert on this subject, Dr Robert Morkot. The course will be combined with daily visits to relevant ancient sites.







12th December 2010

More ways to pay

PayPal (logo)You can now pay for courses here on the website using PayPal – a quick, easy and secure way to pay. Alternative payment methods are still cheque, cash or money transfer.

12th December 2010

Launching our 2011 programme and branching out …

We are pleased to be launching our programme of 2011 summer schools – slightly fewer courses than usual, but just as much variety. In fact you could say more variety than usual...


5th December 2010

Deir el-MedinaBSS in Egypt 2010 – another fantastic course in Egypt

32 BSS students have recently returned home after a wonderful week spent in Luxor enjoying 10 lectures by John Romer on Deir el-Medina and the Valley of the Kings, and visiting a great selection of archaeological sites including a special opening of the tomb of Seti I in the Valley of the Kings. BSS would like to thank John for his entertaining and thought-provoking lectures, and comments at the sites; our wonderful Egyptian guide Hani Al Bagoury; and Margaret Davies and Galal Alsinusy of Sinusret Travel for all their organisation and smooth-running arrangements.

Photo: BSS students following in the footsteps of the Deir el-Medina workmen.


Photo gallery | BSS in Egypt

4th September 2010

Launching our new-look, streamlined BSS...

The start of a new academic year heralds exciting changes. Bloomsbury Summer School and Bloomsbury Academy have now merged as Bloomsbury Summer School, and so Lucia will now be organising both courses and study days. We are also launching our new logo – an ibis chosen for its association with Thoth, the ancient Egyptian god of writing, knowledge, scribes and scholars.

Ibis, the ancient Egyptian symbol of the intellect (Ptolemaic ibis coffin, Brooklyn Museum)




Read more in our 'News Archive'

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