Bloomsbury Summer School (text)

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.


Friday and Saturday 14 - 15 June 2024


Speaker: Dr Elizabeth Baquedano (University College London)

This event will be held (9:45 - 17:00 Friday followed by a drinks reception, and 10:00 - 17:15 Saturday) in person at the UCL Institute of Archaeology, 31 - 34 Gordon Square WC1H 0PY, and the British Museum, and live-streamed and available on video recording afterwards (except museum visit).

We are pleased to announce a very special study day on Mesoamerican codices with Dr Elizabeth Baquedano. With such a wealth of information to explore, Elizabeth has decided to hold this event across – not one – but two days! In-person and online participants will enjoy five sumptuously-illustrated lectures and a practical session – all on the fascinating world of Pre-Columbian and Colonial codices. In-person participants will have the special opportunity to indulge in an exclusive behind-the-scenes visit to the British Museum to view the original Codex Aubin, as well as explore the Mexican Gallery with focus on objects in Codex style. Elizabeth’s lectures will explore key sections of Codex Aubin, including the depiction of the Aztecs' migration from their homeland, Aztlan, to their new capital, Tenochtitlan (Mexico City today). You will also learn about the reading arrangement for year counts (annals) and the Aztec rulers and their outstanding achievements. Lectures will examine other Mesoamerican codices and the ways in which elaborate iconography and codex conventions were used, especially in relation to the ‘international style’.

Speaker info
EARLY BIRD In-person booking fee: £85
(£95 after 29 February)
EARLY BIRD Online booking fee: £65
(£75 after 29 February)
The eight sessions include:


1. An Introduction to Mesoamerican Codices

2. Introduction to Codex Aubin

3. & 4. (in-person only) British Museum behind-the-scenes viewing of Codex Aubin and gallery tour


5. International Style or Mixteca-Puebla Style Codices (Mixtec and Aztec codices)

6. International Style Applied to Different Materials (wood, stone sculpture, and shell)

7. Conversing with Time: The Tonalamatl as talking book with guest speaker Dr James Maffie (University of Maryland, College Park)

8. Practical session: Codex exercise

Throughout you will have plenty of opportunity to ask questions, and to socialise with Elizabeth over morning and afternoon refreshments. On the Saturday evening, in-person participants will have the chance to discuss further over a glass of wine or other drink.

Saturday 7 September 2024


Speaker: Dr Campbell Price (University of Manchester)

This study day will be held in person in Lecture Theatre G6, UCL Institute of Archaeology, 31 - 34 Gordon Square WC1H 0PY, live-streamed, and will also be available on video recording afterwards.

We are thrilled to bring back Dr Campbell Price to lead our autumn study guaranteed to fascinate! When we look at Egyptian paintings, reliefs, sculpture, and so on, we instinctively think we recognise the ancient Egyptians. We know their faces and read their images as if looking at old family photos. But the apparent naturalism of some of those images should not dupe us into thinking that they were conceived as Western-style mimetic ‘portraits’. This study day critically examines the functions of faces in artworks – from kings of the Old Kingdom to Roman officials in Egypt – before considering how modern facial reconstructions based on human remains have shaped our impressions. Join Campbell as he takes you on an examination of what the ancients might have wanted to portray, how, and why those images were created, and – crucially – what the surviving traces tell us about ourselves.

Speaker info
EARLY BIRD in-person booking fee: £40
(£45 after 29 February)
EARLY BIRD online booking fee: £30
(£35 after 29 February)
The four lectures include:

1. The Ancient Egyptian Image World

2. Changing Facial Forms in Pharaonic Sculpture

3. The Ancient Egyptian Face in Popular Culture

4. Facing the Dead: Recreations and wishful thinking

In addition to hearing four fascinating lectures, you will have plenty of opportunity to ask questions, and to socialise with the speaker over morning and afternoon refreshments.