NEAF Saturday Seminar Series | Technology and Innovation in the Ancient World – School of Humanities NEAF Saturday Seminar Series | Technology and Innovation in the Ancient World – School of Humanities

NEAF Saturday Seminar Series | Technology and Innovation in the Ancient World

This Saturday series will move away from a site, period or historical perspective, and look at some of the major technological innovations and their impacts on their social, economic and environmental contexts in the ancient Near East.

In a series of eight lectures over four Saturdays, NEAF speakers will focus on a selection of intellectual, technological, and materials-based game-changers, and explore recent multidisciplinary approaches and new research tools that are deepening our understanding of the Near East.

Lecture 1: 10am-11am

Becoming Urban: tools and technologies of social complexity
Dr Stephen Bourke AM | University of Sydney

Abstract: The varying links between developing economic specialisation, record keeping in its various forms, codified religious practice, trade and resource procurement, and the development of hierarchical social complexity is much debated. Archaeologically, we can discern some of these features emerging ever more strongly in what we might term ‘pre-urban’ societies of the Fifth Millennium BCE but deciding when the cumulative weight of changes in a given society alters the pattern of social organisation to such an extent that the old procedures are no longer viable is no easy task. In this lecture we’ll explore some of the archaeologically visible drivers of change in pre-urban societies in the southern Levant and see how each element may have contributed to what eventually becomes a sustained and apparently unalterable
pathway towards complex urban lifeways, that dominate Middle Eastern civilisation ever after.

Lecture 2: 11am-12pm

Ensuring Eternity: the process and performance of mummification in ancient Egypt
Dr Conni Lord | University of Sydney & University of Wollongong

Abstract: Ancient Egypt has left us many reminders of their past, including the colossal stone monuments, colourful art, elaborate jewellery and, the people themselves in the form of mummies. Much like the artisans who worked with stone, wood and paint, the embalmers of Egypt were extremely skilled in their profession, providing practical and spiritual protection for the newly deceased so they would be ensured of a successful journey into the afterlife.

This talk will focus on the techniques and rituals of mummification employed for over 4000 years in ancient Egypt, as well as exploring the idea that, to the ancient Egyptians, death was not the end but merely a necessary step for the continuation of life.

The seminars will be held online on Zoom



You can register for the whole series at a discount, or book for specific Saturdays.

Please go to book via our NEAF website.
Click here to register

Individual lecture $20 | Entire series $60

Non Members
Individual $30 | Entire series $90

All students are free 

Click here for the full seminar series details

Please note – a minimum of 20 attendees is required for each lecture for this series to run – our upper limit is 300 per lecture.


Once payment is received a receipt, Meeting ID and non-transferrable password will be sent to you.

On admission to the Zoom lecture, participants will be matched to names of financial participants. Please ensure your zoom log-in screen name correctly identifies you. If you are dialling in via telephone, please ensure the number listed when booking on our website is the same used when connecting via telephone.


Our Introduction will start at 9.55am.

The lecture will start at 10am and the second lecture will begin at 11.05am and finish at 12 noon.

There will be opportunity for questions following the lectures, time permitting.


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Hosted by the Near Eastern Archaeology Foundation (NEAF)




Apr 09 2022


10:00 am - 12:00 pm




+61 2 9351 4151

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