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GLASGOW Paul Collins: Egypt's Origins - A View from Iran and Mesopotamia / Egypt and the Assyrian Empire

  • Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum Glasgow G3 8AG (map)

Summer double lecture.

Egypt's Origins: A view from Iran and Mesopotamia

The significance of cultural borrowings from Mesopotamia and Elam in the formation of the Egyptian state during the period 3500-2900 BC has long been debated. This talk will explore the evidence from Syria, Iraq and Iran for the emergence of cities, trade routes and associated technology and art that provides the wider context for the emergence of Egyptian kingship.

Egypt and the Assyrian Empire

The relations between Egypt and the kingdom of Assyria in northern Mesopotamia can be traced in some detail between approximately 1300 and 600 BC. The splendour of Egypt’s New Kingdom empire helped to shape the identity of Assyria as its armies expanded across the Near East, ultimately invading Egypt to confront the rulers of the 25th Dynasty. This is a story that can be reconstructed from both texts and imagery to present a compelling story of interaction between the two great powers of the 1st millennium BC.


Dr Paul Collins is currently the Jaleh Hearn Curator for Ancient Near East at the Ashmolean Museum. After reading Ancient History at UCL, he worked at the British Museum before returning to UCL to complete a doctorate in the archaeology of Mesopotamia. In 2001 he joined the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art and co-curated a major exhibition, ‘Art of the First Cities’. From 2006-11, he worked in the Middle East Department at the British Museum as curator of Mesopotamia and was the lead curator for a consultancy project to establish a national museum in Abu Dhabi, before joining the Ashmolean in 2011. His publications include From Egypt to Babylon: The International Age 1550-500 BC (2008), Discovering Tutankhamun (2014) and Mountains and Lowlands: Ancient Iran and Mesopotamia (2016), and he currently serves as Chair of the British Institute for Iraq.