Contexts and connections: exploring Petra in 1929

Thursday 10 January 2019,
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

Phone +44 (0)20 7323 8181
Ticket Desk in Great Court

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In the spring of 1929, an important new phase began in Petra research. The Melchett Expedition arrived on site to begin the first intensive excavations of this ancient city.

Expedition members George Horsfield, Agnes Conway, Ditlef Nielsen and Tawfiq Canaan examined the history of Petra from many angles, recording the results of their researches over the two-month season in a type-written Petra Exploration Fund diary. This document, now in the archives of the Institute of Archaeology, gives us unparalleled access to explore the historical contexts and connections of the Melchett Expedition.

2019 marks the 90th anniversary of the Melchett Expedition's work at Petra. In recognition of these important excavations, a new project – funded by a CBRL Centenary Award – will present a digital transcription of the 1929 Petra diary, allowing users to explore the document in an interactive way, and reveal some of the hidden histories from the Petra archive. This lecture will explore some of these histories, setting them into wider social, political and cultural contexts.

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A rock-cut tomb facade in Petra from the Horsfeld Collection, Insitute of Archaeology, UCL.