A Conference on Archaeology and the Uncanny in Popular Culture to be held at UCL Institute of Archaeology, 1-3 November 2013
Best looking conference lunch buffet we’ve ever seen.  Cheesy noms!

Best looking conference lunch buffet we’ve ever seen.  Cheesy noms!

Conference registration now open!

REGISTER HERE for the Monstrous Antiquities conference.

Full programme:

Monstrous Antiquities: Archaeology and the Uncanny in Popular Culture

1-3 November 2013

Institute of Archaeology, University College London


Friday 1 November 2013

17:00                  Registration

Session 1

18:00                  Druids, Deities and Daemons: Archaeological Horrors in Doctor Who                 

                  John J Johnston (University College London and The Egypt Exploration Society)                 

18:30                  Keynote: "I Love you, Mummy": Mummies in Books for Children                 

Dr Jean-Marcel Humbert (Independent Researcher)                 

19:00                  Wine reception at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology                 


Saturday 2 November 2013

Session 2

10:00                  Digging for Britain: Arthurian Myth and Lost Treasure in Bernard Cornwell’s Warlord Chronicles

                  Dr Mike Bintley (Canterbury Christ Church University)                 

10:30                  Uncanny Archaeology in the Ghost Stories of M.R. James, E.F. Benson and E.G. Swain

Dr Gabriel Moshenska (University College London)

11:00                  "To worship me, take wine and strange drugs": Archaeology and Occultism in the Work of Kenneth Anger                 

Ethan Doyle White (Independent Researcher)                 

11:40                  Break                 

Session 3

12:10                  The Mummy in a Modern City                 

                  Dr Louis Greenberg (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg)                 

12:40                  Uncanny Statues: Female Mummies as Arte(fact) in Victorian and Edwardian Culture                 

                  Eleanor Dobson (University of Birmingham)                 

13:10                  Stratigraphy and Super Strength: Exploring the Role of Archaeologists in Graphic Novels

                  David R Howell (University of South Wales)                 

13:50                  Lunch                 

Session 4

15:00                  Tales of the Forgotten City: A Comparative Analysis of ‘The Nameless City’ (Lovecraft, 1921)                   and ‘The Immortal’ (Borges, 1947)                 

Dr Patricia Garcia (Dublin City University)                 

15:30                  "The Accursed Galaxy": Astronomy, Archaeology and the Appeal of Cosmic Horror                 

                  Dr Marek Kukula and Rob Edwards (Royal Observatory Greenwich)                 

16:00                  Archaeology, Memory and Identity in the Fiction of H P Lovecraft                                   

Dr James Holloway (Independent Researcher)                 

16:40                  Keynote: Where are all the Giants? Monstrous Beings in Ancient Egypt                 

                  Prof W J Tait (University College London)                 


Sunday 3 November 2013

Session 5

10:00                  Dead Weight: The Mummy as Travelling Companion                 

Dr Jasmine Day (Independent Researcher)                 

10:30                  Cigars of the Pharaoh: The Monstrous and Ancient Egypt in Comic-books and Cartoons                                    George Richards (Independent Researcher)                 

11:00                  The Theory and Practice of Eternal Curses: A Beginner’s Guide                 

                  James Goss (Author)                 

11:40                  Break                 

Session 6

12:10                  The Horror of Folk: Folklore, Archaeology and Fiction                                   

Dr Nigel Tallis (The British Museum)                 

12:40                  The City Disinterred: Confronting the Uncanny at Pompeii                 

                  Dr Joanna Paul (The Open University)                 

13:10                  The Fair Ladies of Naxos: Discussing Creatures Haunting Monuments in the Folk Tradition of Island Greece                 

Dr Stelios Lekakis (Independent Researcher)                 

13:50                  Lunch                 

Session 7

15:00                  Zombies, Mummies and Carnivorous Beetles: Horrific Egypt in Video Games

                  Caterina Minnitti (University College London)                 

15:30                  There’s Something About Nodens: Statues and Survivals in the Works of Arthur Machen                 

                  Dr Katy Soar (The Open University)                 

16:00                  "Who knows…what things undreamed-of and infinitely desirable lie beyond the dark gates": Facing the Fear of the Past in E Nesbit’s The Story of the Amulet                 

                  Edmund Connolly (University College London)                 

16:40                  Closing discussion                  


“Monstrous Antiquities”

Archaeology and the Uncanny in Popular Culture

UCL Institute of Archaeology, 1-3 November 2013

Haunted ruins, cursed artefacts, arcane rituals and ambulant mummies: archaeology and the ancient world have provided some of the most effective and ubiquitous scenarios for tales of horror and the supernatural.  Authors and filmmakers such as MR James, Bram Stoker and Terence Fisher have drawn heavily upon popular conceptions of both the ancient past and the work of the archaeologist.

This conference aims to study and celebrate this long and productive relationship.  We are keen to hear from scholars and aficionados of the fictional world of uncanny archaeology including archaeologists, historians, writers and artists.  The programme will include all genres where the ancient meets the ghastly including music, television, literature, film, and art.  

The conference will be held at UCL on 1-3 November 2013.  Please send abstracts of no more than 200 words to the organisers John J. Johnston, Gabriel Moshenska and Tina Paphitis at by 31 August.