The Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology regularly organizes conferences exploring themes within maritime archaeology or relating to the fieldwork of the Centre and of the IEASM.

Religious landscapes of Egypt

16th-18th February 2017. Museum Rietberg/University of Zurich

Far-reaching changes were happening in the religious life of Egypt during the latter part of its ancient history. From over the ‘Sea of the Greeks’ came foreign peoples, both as settlers and conquerors, bringing from their homelands their own gods and ritual practices. The meetings between Egyptians and incomers ushered in a dynamic period of accommodation and creative (mis)understanding as communities sought to negotiate their place within the new social and religious world or to stand apart from it. This conference investigated how these various processes played out across Egypt’s religious landscapes in texts, buildings and material culture. Papers examined how change happened and the extent to which it diverged from traditional Egyptian practices through an investigation of religious thought and performance, from the construction of temples to the deposition of objects. They confronted the spectrum of developing responses in the cities and towns of Egypt from the early parallel lives of Egyptians and Greeks at Thonis-Heracleion to the later synchronicity of the god Serapis and the construction of temples to venerate divine Roman emperors and celebrate the Imperial Cult. Finally, it assessed the coming of Christianity and the sweeping away of the former pagan religious landscape.

The conference contents can be viewed here.

Heracleion in context: The maritime economy of the Egyptian Late Period

15-17 March 2013. The Queen's College - University of Oxford

The purpose of the symposium is to explore the maritime trading economy of the Egyptian port of Heracleion during the Late Period and to place it within the wider context of maritime trade at this time. Heracleion was the gateway to Egypt, the obligatory port of entry and customs point, and a vital node in the trading network of the eastern Mediterranean through which goods flowed into and out of Egypt. The port and its harbour basins contain a remarkable collection of evidence for the maritime trading economy, including customs decrees, trading weights, coin production as well as the remains of sixty-four ancient shipwrecks. These are set within a detailed understanding of the topography of the port-city, which has been investigated by European Institute for Underwater Archaeology under the overall direction of Franck Goddio. The symposium will present the latest work of scholars working on the excavation and post-excavation of Heracleion and will contextualise this through a series of wider ranging studies that examine the developing role of the port within the wider maritime trading economies of the Egyptian Late Period.

The conference contents can be viewed here.

The Indo-Pacific World Special Seminar

28 November 2012. 15:30-18:45

Lecture Room, Institute of Archaeology, 36 Beaumont Street, Oxford

From Madagascar to Rapa Nui, the Indo-Pacific world has been marked by great maritime achievements. In this half-day seminar we will explore the maritime ethnography, archaeology, and history of this region through the work of three leading scholars: Dr Ian Glover, University College London (UK); Dr Pierre-Yves Manguin, École Française d’Extrême-Orient (France); and Dr Miguel Luque Talavan, University Complutense (Spain).

Cleopatra and the end of the Hellenistic world

29-30 September 2010. The Franklin Institute and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

This symposium was organised by the OCMA and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Its purpose was to explore the extent to which the Hellenistic world of Cleopatra actually fell after the defeat at Actium. The conference addressed the issue of political endings and cultural continuity and investigated whether the demise of Cleopatra should be used as an allegory for the end of the Hellenistic world or whether this arbitrary modern separation of historical from cultural periods merely emphasizes breaks where there may well have been continuity.

East meets West along the Maritime Silk Route

2-3 July 2009. Waseda University, Tokyo

This symposium, organised by the OCMA and the Institute of Egyptology, Waseda University, Tokyo, examined the trading dynamics of the maritime silk route from the Hellenistic period in the West until just prior to the rise of the Mongol empire in the East. Scholars from the fields of Classical, Byzantine, Indian and Asian maritime history and archaeology examined the longue durée of trade along the maritime silk route.

Maritime archaeology and ancient trade in the Mediterranean

18-20 September 2008. Universidad Carlos III, Madrid

This conference explored the contribution of maritime archaeology to the understanding of trade and exchange in the ancient Mediterranean. It marked the beginning of the international exhibition Sunken Treasures of Egypt, held at the same venue, that featured finds from the underwater excavations at Alexandria and Aboukir Bay by the Institut Européen d’Archéologie Sous-Marine (IEASM).

The trade and topography of Egypt’s North-West Delta: 8th century BC to 8th century AD

28-30 July 2006. Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin

This conference focused upon the trade, topography and material culture of Egypt’s North-West Delta over the period from the 8th century BC to the 8th century AD.

City and Harbour: the archaeology of ancient Alexandria

18-19 December 2004. St Hugh’s College, University of Oxford

This conference examined the contribution that recent archaeological work, both land-based and maritime, had made to our understanding of the city of Alexandria.

© 2012 School of Archaeology, University of Oxford; © Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation