The BP exhibition

Sunken cities
Egypt’s lost
worlds

 

19 May – 27 November 2016

Supported by BP BP logo

Organised with the Hilti Foundation and
the Institut Européen d’Archéologie Sous-Marine

The BP exhibition

Sunken cities
Egypt’s lost worlds

19 May – 27 November 2016

Supported by BP BP logo

Organised with the Hilti Foundation and
the Institut Européen d’Archéologie Sous-Marine

Submerged under the sea for over a thousand years, two lost cities of ancient Egypt were recently rediscovered. Their story is told for the first time in this blockbuster exhibition.

★★★★★ 
‘spectacular… a show to move you to tears of wonder’
The Times

★★★★★ 
‘marvellous… as well as elegantly beautiful’
The Evening Standard

★★★★ 
‘magnificent… a superb exhibition’
The Telegraph

Vanished beneath the waters of the Mediterranean, the lost cities of Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus lay at the mouth of the Nile. Named after the Greek hero Heracles, Thonis-Heracleion was one of Egypt’s most important commercial centres for trade with the Mediterranean world and, with Canopus, was a major centre for the worship of the Egyptian gods. Their amazing discovery is transforming our understanding of the deep connections between the great ancient civilisations of Egypt and Greece.

More about the exhibition

 

Preserved and buried under the sea for over a thousand years, the stunning objects in the exhibition range from magnificent colossal statues to intricate gold jewellery. Sacred offerings and ritual objects reveal the cult of Osiris – the god of the underworld who held the promise of eternal life. They tell stories of political power and popular belief, myth and migration, gods and kings. Journey through centuries of encounters between two celebrated cultures, meeting iconic historical figures such as Alexander the Great, Cleopatra, Hadrian and Antinous on the way.

Over the last 20 years, world-renowned archaeologist Franck Goddio and his team have excavated spectacular underwater discoveries using the latest technologies. They will be seen alongside fascinating objects from major Egyptian museums for the first time in the UK.

Discover the incredible story of the remarkable relationship between the major ancient civilisations of Egypt and Greece, unveiled in this monumental new exhibition.

Membership

See the exhibition free as a Member

Tickets

Adults £16.50, under 16s free


Opening times

19 May – 27 November 2016
Last entry 80 minutes before closing
Full opening times 

Getting here

Room 30, British Museum,
Great Russell Street, London,
WC1B 3DG

Group visits

Special group rates available
Bookings +44 (0)20 7323 8181 tickets@britishmuseum.org

 

Events

Stories from the sea

Thursday 25 August,
11.30 / Holiday activities

Rome and Egypt: a long relationship

Thursday 1 September,
13.30 / Lecture

Sounds of the deep

Friday 2 September,
19.00 / Special event

Osiris: myth, ritual, legend

Friday 9 September,
18.30 / Special event

Young Friends' sleepover: sunken cities

Saturday 10 September,
18.15 / Young Friends' sleepover


Spectacular underwater finds

The breathtaking objects tell stories of political power and popular belief, myth and migration, gods and kings.

A diver shows a marble statue of Osiris. Canopus, Egypt, 1st–2nd century AD. Photo: Christoph Gerigk. © Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation.

Stela commissioned by Nectanebo I (r. 378–362 BC), Thonis-Heracleion, Egypt, 380 BC. Photo: Christoph Gerigk. © Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation.

Colossal statue of the god Hapy. Thonis-Heracleion, Egypt, 4th century BC. Maritime Museum, Alexandria. Photo: Christoph Gerigk. © Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation.

An archaeologist diver using a brush to clear fauna discovered under 2.5cm of sand at Canopus, Egypt. Photo: Christoph Gerigk. © Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation.

Stela from Thonis-Heracleion, Egypt, 380 BC. Photo: Christoph Gerigk. © Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation.

The ruins of Canopus were discovered in Aboukir Bay, 2km east of the western fringe of the Nile Delta. Photo: Christoph Gerigk. © Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation.

Pink granite garden vat. Thonis-Heracleion, Egypt, Ptolemaic Period, 4th–2nd century BC. Photo: Christoph Gerigk. © Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation.



Membership

See the exhibition free as a Member

Tickets

Adults £16.50, under 16s free

 


 

 

In collaboration with the Ministry of Antiquities of the Arab Republic of Egypt.

Photos: Christoph Gerigk. © Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation.