An illustration showing the Rosetta Stone and how the piece may have fitted into the original carved stone decree.

Event information

1 Dec 2022

17.30–18.30

Online event

Please note this is an online event and will require you to use the video conferencing system Zoom.

These events are free but donations are greatly appreciated.

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How, when and why have early perceptions of ancient Egypt changed? How did Egyptology start?

Chris Naunton, former Director of the Egypt Exploration Society, chairs this discussion unravelling the study of ancient Egypt.

Join the exploration of three main themes: how Arab and medieval cultures interpreted hieroglyphs and the world of ancient Egypt; the context of the discovery of the Rosetta Stone and how this changed perceptions of ancient Egypt; and how Jean-François Champollion’s work opened up a new interpretation of this ancient culture. Join experts Okasha El Daly, Patricia Usick and Ola El Aguizy to explore this endlessly fascinating subject.

This event is part of the public programme supporting Hieroglyphs: unlocking ancient Egypt (open until 19 February 2023).

Read more about how Egyptian hieroglyphs were decoded, a timeline to decipherment.

To attend this online event

Book now to secure your place. We're hosting the event on Zoom – a free video conferencing system that requires users to register in advance. If you do not already use Zoom, you can sign up using this registration link.

If the event is fully booked, or you do not wish to use Zoom, you can also watch the event – as well as other events in the series – streamed on the Museum's events YouTube channel.

This event includes live captioning provided by Stagetext and delivered by MyClearText.

Read our booking form privacy policy.

About the speakers

Dr Chris Naunton

Dr Chris Naunton is an Egyptologist, writer, well-known broadcaster and former director of the Egypt Exploration Society. In 2013, he presented Tutankhamun: the mystery of the Burnt Mummy for Channel 4. Naunton is the author of Searching for the lost tombs of Egypt (2019) and Egyptologists’ notebooks (2020).

Dr Okasha El Daly

Dr Okasha El Daly is an Egyptian historian and expert on the languages, religion and art of Egypt. He is based in Qatar but is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at UCL in the Institute of Archaeology. His current project involves Egyptian roots of Egyptology. His major interest is in the historical geography of the Nile Valley. Among his many publications is Arabic Transliteration of Ancient Egyptian with Stephen Quirke (2009).

Dr Patricia Usick

Dr Patricia Usick is a Visiting Academic in the Department of Ancient Egypt and the Sudan at the British Museum. She is also the author of The Sphinx Revealed: a Forgotten Record of Pioneering Excavations with Deborah Manley (2007) and Adventures in Egypt and Nubia (2002) concerning the contribution of WJ Bankes (1786–1855) to Egyptology.

Prof Ola El Aguizy

Prof Ola El Aguizy is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Cairo and an Egyptian Egyptologist. She is an expert in the Demotic language of ancient Egypt. She has led excavations at Saqqara since 2005 and these have brought to light many great figures of the circle of Ramesses II. At the University of Cairo, El Aguizy has worked as Head of the Department of Egyptian Antiquities, Dean of the Faculty of Archaeology and Professor of Egyptian languages.

Privacy policy

Privacy policy

The personal data you provide to us on the event booking form is being collected so that we can administer the event efficiently and, if necessary, contact you with important updates about the event. It will only be used by the British Museum for this purpose, it will not be shared with any third parties and it will be securely deleted as soon as the event has ended. This privacy information does not apply to the processing of your personal data by Zoom which will be governed by the terms of the agreement made between you and Zoom when you subscribed to their service.