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Beyond Te Papa: Phoenicians & Mosaics

Saturday 13 July 2019, 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

$25.00 – $30.00

This event is now sold out.

Spend an afternoon with Tony O’Connor, a specialist in the Roman Empire, who has excavated widely across Britain, Italy and North Africa. He has a particular interest in Roman North Africa, having excavated in Libya for many years. We are lucky enough to have Tony share 2 talks with us in the afternoon in quite different subjects.

Through his work in Libya, Tunisia, Sicily and Lebanon Tony has spent many years studying the Phoenicians and their legacy. For over 30 years Tony has curated and developed archaeological collections in UK museums and is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.

Lecture 1 – Tophets, Trade and the Alphabet: The Phoenicians in the Mediterranean World – 1.00 to 1.50pm

The enigmatic Phoenicians are one of the least known, but most influential peoples of the ancient world, best known to us through the description made by their enemies. Covering the story of their origins in what is now modern Lebanon, their role as traders and craftsmen across the Mediterranean, this lecture also explores the rise of their dominance in the western Mediterranean and North Africa through their great city of Carthage until their eventual conquest and destruction by Rome. There will be a Q & A at the end of the session.

Refreshment Break  – 2.00 to 2.30pm 

Lecture 2 – Paintings in Stone: Coloured figurative mosaics of North Africa – 2.30pm to 3.20pm

The tradition of the creation of coloured figurative mosaics has left a fantastic assemblage of these ‘Paintings in stone’ particularly in the Roman province of Africa Proconsularis (Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco), where mosaic production reached its heights in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD. This lecture will review the range of mosaic images and themes along with the organisation of the mosaic workshops. It will look at the origins of high-quality coloured mosaics in Ptolemaic Alexandria in the 2nd century BC and conclude the high point of the North African mosaic manufacture of the 4th century AD, as seen in the decorative scheme at the villa Romana del Casale at Piazza Armerina in Sicily. There will be a Q & A at the end of the session.

Tony O’Connor, an archaeologist from the UK, museum professional and highly experienced tour lecturer, has led tours throughout the Middle East, Italy and North Africa, in particular, Algeria. With an honours degree in Ancient History and Archaeology (Manchester), he has worked extensively as a field archaeologist on major North African sites, including the city of Ptolomais in Libya and many Roman villas, small towns and military sites. His knowledge of the region is both profound and extensive, aided in part by the fact that he has made landscape surveys in Libya sponsored by UNESCO. Tony is bought to us through collaboration with Australians Studying Abroad.


Image credit: Djemila, Setif, Algeria, Tony O’Connor

Includes refreshments and free parking


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Saturday 13 July 2019
1:00 pm - 3:30 pm
$25.00 – $30.00
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Rangimarie, L3, Te Papa
Te Papa, 55 Cable Street, Te Aro
Wellington, Wellington 6011 New Zealand
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Friends of Te Papa
(04) 381 7051