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Seminars and Events 2022

Petrie Oration 2022

Networks, Migrations, and the Enigma of the Hyksos


Dr Anna-Latifa Mourad

Macquarie University


The Subject: The Late Bronze Age is well-known for its so-called ‘internationalism’, with heightened interactions across North Africa, Western Asia, and the Aegean. But how did this ‘internationalism’ emerge, especially after the rise and fall of several powers, significant climatic disturbances, and population movements across these regions? To explore this question, we will focus on a community located in Egypt’s Eastern Delta that appears to have persisted through many of these shifts. This community has been most recently examined by members of the ERC Advanced Grant Project, ‘The Enigma of the Hyksos’, directed by Manfred Bietak. The various research areas of the project have revealed fresh insights on the community’s rulers, its people, their interactions, and the transformation of their culture across the Middle to the early Late Bronze Age. All strongly point to Egypt’s growing ties with an emerging complex network that eventually led to the Late Bronze Age’s ‘internationalism’, or, perhaps more accurately, to one of the earliest known periods of ‘globalisation’ in the world.

The Speaker: Dr. Anna-Latifa Mourad is a historian and archaeologist exploring the links between cultural encounters and socio-cultural transformations. Her research has focussed on relations between ancient Egypt and the Levant in the late Third and Second Millennia BCE. In 2014, she was awarded a PhD from Macquarie University for her research on the ‘Rise of the Hyksos’ and Egyptian-Levantine relations from the Middle Kingdom to the early Second Intermediate Period. She later joined the ERC Advanced Grant project, The Enigma of the Hyksos, directed by Manfred Bietak at the Austrian Academy of Sciences (2017–2020), with her postdoctoral fellowship examining Multidirectional Cultural Interference Studies and the influences of Egyptian-Near Eastern relations on Egyptian culture and society. Its research findings have been recently published in a new monograph on Transforming Egypt into the New Kingdom. This led her to question how the Egyptians negotiated and maintained commercial and diplomatic relations in the period leading up to the so-called ‘International Age’, an inquiry which culminated in her Macquarie University Research Fellowship for her current project on The Ties that Bind: Negotiating Foreign Relations in the Second Millennium BCE (2019–2022).

Anna-Latifa Mourad.tif

When:         3.00 pm  Thursday 20 October, 2022

In Person:  Australian Institute of Archaeology, Terrace Way, Macleod

                   La Trobe University, Building TER 11 (Melways 873-4)
                   Please book with:  Christopher Davey 0421 595 966

                   Zoom Register (La Trobe University) at: To Be Advised

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Petrie Oration 2021 (delayed)
Talking sense about Akhenaten


Emeritus Professor Ron Ridley FSA FAHA FRHS

University of Melbourne

The Subject: Akhenaten is, apart from his (probable) son, Tutankhamun, the best-known ruler of the Eighteenth Dynasty, but he has been a real figure for only the past century or so. He was brought to life by the Amarna Letters, Norman de Garis Davies' brilliant copies of the Amarna tomb illustrations, and the German and English excavations (on-going) at Amarna. Parallel historical research, however, has recently taken a sinister turn, with many contributors revealing an antipathy towards the pharaoh which has resulted in total fantasy. The two main reasons seem to be his position as the first monotheist, and the conventions of Amarnan art which many misunderstand; he is also accused of having lost the Egyptian 'empire'. Drawing on his recent book, Akhenaten: A Historian's View, Professor Ridley will try to sort out some of these things – and give some indication of what happened after his death.


The Lecturer:­ The citation for his honorary Doctor of Letters from Macquarie University in 2017, described Professor Ridley as ‘Australia's most active, productive, and internationally connected researcher in the field of Ancient History’. He graduated from the University of Sydney, where he was foundation Teaching Fellow in Ancient History 1962-1964. He was then appointed researcher and lecturer at the University of Melbourne 1965-2005. He has over twenty monographs and more than one hundred published chapters and articles. He has written on ancient Egypt, classical Greece, the Roman Republic, Late Antiquity, historiography and archaeology in early modern Europe, and the history of Melbourne and its past ancient historians.

When:         3.00 pm  Thursday 24 February, 2022

In Person:    Australian Institute of Archaeology, Terrace Way, Macleod

                   La Trobe University, Building TER 11 (Melways 873-4)
                   Please book with:  Christopher Davey 0421 595 966

                   Zoom Register (La Trobe University) at:

Download Flyer

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