Egypt Society of Bristol Home Page



at 1845 hrs in Lecture Theatre 3, Arts Complex, 21 Woodland Road, Bristol 8, unless otherwise stated.


Entry is free for members and members of the University of Bristol; others are welcome to attend for a fee of 4.00 per meeting, payable at the door.

Tue 17 Mar 2020. Annual General Meeting

Lecture: Cleopatra's Needle.

Chris Elliot.

Tue 28 April 2020. Lecture: The Sinai

Prof Francis & Dr Hilary Gilbert, University of Nottingham

Tue 2 June 2020. Lecture: A Scribal Life

Dr Hana Navratilova, University of Reading/Oxford Centre for Life Writing University of Oxford.

Tue 6 October 2020. Lecture: The Lighter Side of Egypt: The story of Lance Thackeray and the early tourists in Egypt

Lee Young.

Tue 17 November 2020. Lecture: Lunar Lore in Ancient Egypt

John J. Johnston, UCL.

Tue 15 December 2020. Lecture: The Tutankhamun Excavations and the Pharaoh's Revenge: Between History and Myth

Dr Ellie Dobson, University of Birmingham.







Egyptology in Bristol

Bristol was the home - and burial place, in Henbury Churchyard - of one of the most important figures in the history of British Egyptology - Amelia Blandford Edwards, founder of both the Egypt Exploration Fund (now Society), and of the UK's first Chair of Egyptology, at University College London. Bristol Museum was, indeed, an early subscriber to the Fund's excavations, and holds a very fine collection of Egyptian antiquities. It is also possible that Sarah Belzoni, wife of the celebrated explorer Giovanni, was also a Bristolian.

In the late 1890s, University College Bristol, soon to become Bristol University, was one of the very first institutions to teach Egyptian hieroglyphs, two early students (Gerald Wainwright and Ernest MacKay) later becoming important figures in Egyptian field archaeology. The language was taught by Ernest Sibree (1859-1927). Click here for a summary of his career.

Sadly, in the 1920s, teaching of the subject died out, although the link was maintained through the fine collections of the City Museum and Art Gallery. Its post-war Curator, Leslie Grinsell had a deep interest in ancient Egypt, and was the author of an excellent book about the pyramids - written while he was serving with the RAF in Egypt during the Second World War!

Over the past few years, Egyptian archaeology has returned to the university, both in its public and undergraduate teaching, and now the Egypt Society of Bristol has been formed to provide a focus for all of those in Bristol, Bath and the surrounding area who are interested in the land of the Nile. It offers lectures, social events and study visits to places of Egyptological interest, at home and abroad.

The ESB issues a regular Newsletter. Click here for the latest issue.

Egypt Society of Bristol Lectures

The Society aims to offer at least six lectures a year between October and June. The emphasis is on ancient Egypt, but there may also be talks on more modern topics, as well as people associated with the country and its exploration.

Click here for the current ESB programme, and here for a complete list of ESB events since its foundation.

Visits and Study Tours
Visits are arranged to places of Egyptological interest at home and abroad - including Egypt - which are listed in the Society's programme.

Other events of interest

British Egyptology Societies Directory
British Association of Near Eastern Archaeology

Membership Details
Membership is open to anyone with an interest in Egypt and Egyptology. Please click here for joining information.


Pip Jones (1950-2011)

For a certain generation of Bristol Egyptologists, Pip Jones was the person who either kindled or fed their interest in the subject, through her evening classes at the University of Bristol and lectures to local groups. I know at least one person who has studied Egyptology at university, held various museum posts and is currently working for the Egyptian Council of Antiquities, who started with Pip’s evening classes at the age of about 8.Pip came late to academic life, having worked in the NHS for some years before deciding to go to university as a mature student and study the subject that had always interested her. She volunteered at the museum, where she helped to unwrap the mummy of Horemkenesi and research the collections for the old Egyptology gallery. She became the admin assistant in the Archaeology department, and helped with enquiries on Egypt, mostly from school pupils and sometimes very obscure, such as how heavy is a pyramid? When she left the museum, she worked at the University, wrote Egyptology books and novels and historical books. She also developed a sideline in erotic novels, published under a pseudonym. Pip could always surprise people!She developed breast cancer some years ago. Treatment was at first successful, but the cancer came back. Pip dealt with it as she dealt with most things, in public shrugging it off and making a joke of it. In the same spirit, at her funeral she was carried out for burial to the strains of Meatloaf’s ‘Bat out of Hell’. It’s how she wanted to go.

Sue Giles.