Bloomsbury Summer School (text)

Bloomsbury Summer School

Ibis (mobile-only branding graphic)

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.


Contact us

We will be happy to provide any further information about Bloomsbury Summer School you may need.

Get in touch by email:

Our postal address:

Bloomsbury Summer School
c/o The Accordia Research Institute
42 Runnemede Road
TW20 9BL
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)779 155 8195.


A brief introduction to BSS

Kathryn Piquette, Temple at Esna, Egypt.

Dr Kathryn E. Piquette, BSS Director, during a visit to the Temple at Esna in Egypt.

Founded in 1990, BSS endeavours to present the finest programme of summer courses in Egyptology and ancient world history, archaeology, languages, and literature, available in the United Kingdom.

At BSS, we are enormously fortunate to have special access to UCL's stunning museum collections and excellent university facilities. Our classes taught in the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology offer privileged access to this internationally important collection of Egyptian and Sudanese artefacts. The opportunity to handle ancient objects is not one to be missed; it is an exceptional experience (note that in 2024 the Petrie Museum is closed for works from late May until mid-August). Our Bloomsbury location also allows us to include teaching sessions in the British Museum, just down the road.

We are proud to have organised at least one BSS in Egypt every year since 2009 (except 2020 - 2022). These courses in Egypt combine lectures / classes with site visits – a perfect learning experience. In 2023 we are offering another course in Amarna in December, this time entitled EXPLORING AMARNA: ITS ARCHAEOLOGY AND THE IDEAS BEHIND IT and taught by Dr Anna Stevens, Assistant Director of excavations at the site of Amarna and Lecturer in Archaeology and Ancient History, Centre for Ancient Cultures, Monash University. In 2024, Dr Bill Manley will be reprising his popular reading hieroglyphs course in Luxor, AN EXPEDITION TO READ HIEROGLYPHS, with new content.

We also enjoy staging at least one Study Day each year. In 2024, we will be offering two study days, one in June and one in September. We are looking forward to a very special double study day led by Dr Elizabeth Baquedano (University College London) on 440 YEARS OF THE HISTORY OF THE AZTEC PEOPLE: THE CODEX AUBIN AT THE BRITISH MUSEUM. We are also thrilled to welcome back Dr Campbell Price who will lead fascinating study day on FACING THE ANCIENT EGYPTIANS: FACTS AND FANTASIES.



Kathryn E. Piquette

Kathryn E. Piquette received her PhD in Egyptology from University College London (UCL), specialising in early Egyptian writing and art. She is a lecturer at the UCL Institute of Archaeology and is a Senior Researcher at the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities, where she teaches digital approaches to cultural heritage and works as an imaging specialist for UCL Advanced Imaging Consultants. Kathryn took over directorship of BSS in 2019, having directed and coordinated several BSS courses over the past two decades. A longstanding member of the Friends of the Petrie Museum, Kathryn has served as Student Representative and Membership Officer, and is now a member of the Board of Trustees. She is also a member of the Egypt Exploration Society. Her archaeological fieldwork includes excavation in Jordan (Petra) and Egypt (Wadi Natrun, Hierakonpolis, Giza), and work as advanced digital imaging specialist at Qubbet el-Hawa, Deir Anba Hadra, Philae Temple, the C2 Project: Royal Cache Wadi survey, and several other projects in Egypt. Among her publications is the Open Access monograph An Archaeology of Art and Writing: Early Egyptian labels in context (2018) with supporting online database, and the freely available co-edited volume Writing as Material Practice: Substance, surface and medium (2013). She is also working on co-edited volumes on the Narmer Palette, Palermo Stone, and the Shabaqo Stone.


Outreach Coordinators for East Asia

Chenqing An

Chenqing An (安宸庆) first joined Bloomsbury Summer School in 2021 and continues to volunteer as a Course Coordinator and now also serves as BSS Outreach Coordinator for East Asia. He earned his MA in Ancient History from University College London and is currently pursuing an MPhil in Egyptology at the University of Oxford. With a primary research focus on Ptolemaic Egypt, he is particularly interested in its economic history and interactions with the wider Mediterranean world, with additional interests including environmental history and comparative studies between Egypt / Greece and China.
You can find him on WeChat: anchenqing1998

Yu-chun Kan

Yu-chun Kan (甘聿群) has served as a Course Coordinator for Bloomsbury Summer School (BSS) since 2022, and has now also joined the BSS team as a Outreach Coordinator for East Asia. She is a PhD student at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. She received a double-major BA in Anthropology and History from the National Taiwan University and her MA in Archaeology from Peking University. Her main research focus is the archaeology of food, investigating past daily lives, and sensorial experiences through archaeobotanical, experimental, and ethnoarchaeological approaches. Yu-chun has participated in several field projects in Taiwan, China, as well as Croatia. She is also a member of a joint excavation project at Philadelphia in Fayum, Egypt.
You can find her on Facebook: YC Kan


Former Co-Director

Lucia Gahlin

Lucia Gahlin directed BSS from 2009–2019, having also directed numerous highly successful courses of her own and played a role in its organisation since 1994. She is an Honorary Research Fellow at UCL’s Institute of Archaeology and lectures widely on ancient Egypt. She leads regular archaeological tours to Egypt (including for Andante Travels). She has a long-standing association with UCL’s Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology , and has worked particularly on its material from Amarna. She is Chair of the Friends of the Petrie Museum, and has been a Trustee of the Egypt Exploration Society. She has worked as Small Finds Registrar at the archaeological site of Tell el-Amarna in Middle Egypt. Her publications include Egypt: Gods, Myths and Religion (2001) and chapters in Wilkinson, T. (ed.) The Egyptian World (2007).



Christopher Coleman

Christopher Coleman founded Bloomsbury Summer School in 1990 and it soon became the most successful organisation of its kind in the United Kingdom. He was a Lecturer in History at University College London and was subsequently appointed Honorary Research Fellow of the UCL History Department. He was involved in research on the career of Sir Robert Mond and the related work of several of his associates, especially that of Oliver Myers and Hans Winkler at Armant and in Egypt’s Eastern and Western Deserts. Through BSS he made significant financial (and other) contributions to a wide range of research projects in Egyptian archaeology and related subjects: expeditions to Hierakonpolis, Zawiyet Sultan, Saqqara, Mo’alla, Abydos, the Abu Tartur Plateau, Mendes, the royal tombs KV5 and KV39 in the Valley of the Kings; the Centre for Alexandrian Studies; the Amarna Royal Tombs Project; the Amarna Trust; the Theban Mapping Project; the Manchester Egyptian Mummy Project; the Western Sahara Geo-Archaeological Survey; the University of Oxford’s Griffith Institute; UCL’s Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology; the Rock Art Topographical Survey; the Palestine Exploration Fund; the Egypt Exploration Society; the German Archaeological Institute (DAI); the Gebel el-Silsila Project; the Colossi of Memnon and Temple Conservation Project at Kom el Hettan; and The Holt Festival 2014: Egypt through the Artist’s Eye Exhibition and Lecture Programme.


Summer School and Study Day location

UCL Institute of Archaeology 31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY

Gordon Square is within walking distance of three mainline train stations (Euston, St. Pancras and King’s Cross), and of several Underground stations. Please note that there is no car park at UCL nor is there free parking nearby.


Study Day venue

UCL Institute of Archaeology, 31 - 34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY


Our 'Discover Bloomsbury' map is available to download here