ancient Egypt

‘Oedipus and the Sphinx’, c.1826, by Ingres, a copy of which hung over Freud’s desk

Why was Sigmund Freud so obsessed with Egypt?

24 August 2019 9:00 am

Twenty years ago, I visited the ancient Egyptian city of Amarna with a party of American journalists. Even in those…

Wall painting of waterfowl flying out of the reeds, with papyrus on the left. From the tomb of Akhenaten, c. 1375 BC

Treasures from Ancient Egypt’s wastepaper baskets

9 February 2019 9:00 am

In 2016, after some unseemly back-and-forth between the Commons and Lords, it was decided that Acts of Parliament should no…

Ivory plaque of a lioness mauling a man, ivory, gold, cornelian, lapis lazuli, Nimrud, 900 BC–700 BC. [© The Trustees of the British Museum]

The Assyrians of Ashurbanipal’s time were just as into pillage and destruction as Isis

1 December 2018 9:00 am

The Assyrians placed sculptures of winged human-headed bulls (lamassus) at the entrances to their capital at Nineveh, in modern Mosul,…

‘A Voluptuary under the horrors of Digestion’, 1792, by James Gillray

From ancient Egyptian smut to dissent-by-currency: I object at the British Museum reviewed

8 September 2018 9:00 am

‘If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear,’…

Buried treasure: an archaeologist diver brushes clear a bovid jaw discovered in Aboukir Bay

The treasures of Alexandria revealed: British Museum’s Sunken cities reviewed

4 June 2016 9:00 am

It was not so unusual for someone to turn into a god in Egypt. It happened to the Emperor Hadrian’s…

The obelisk in the Place de la Concorde. Its transport from Luxor to Paris took seven years and involved the destruction of an entire village

Are Egypt’s obelisks more stunning even than the pyramids?

23 April 2016 9:00 am

On the banks of the River Thames in central London, an ancient Egyptian obelisk, known as Cleopatra’s Needle, reaches towards…

Naked ambition: Anthony Roth Costanzo in Philip Glass’s ‘Akhnaten’

In a world full of zombie new operas, thank god for Philip Glass’s Akhnaten

12 March 2016 9:00 am

A mixed year so far for new opera. A few really dismal things have appeared from people who should know…

Monumental change: the overthrow of the statue of Napoleon I, which was on top of the Vendôme Column. The painter Gustave Courbet is ninth from the right

A short history of statue-toppling

9 January 2016 9:00 am

One of the stranger disputes of the past few weeks has concerned a Victorian figure that has occupied a niche…

Standing figure of the ancient Egyptian god Horus, wearing Roman military costume, 1st–2nd century AD and Seated figure of the ancient Egyptian god Horus, wearing Roman military costume, 1st–2nd century AD

Egypt: where gods are born and go to die

29 October 2015 9:00 am

Over the stupefyingly long course of Egyptian history, gods have been born and they have died. Some 4,000 years ago,…

‘The Lion Queen’

Roll up, roll up! A history of the circus from Ancient Egypt to the present

13 December 2014 9:00 am

Linda Simon’s compact and colourful circus history is, in many ways, a jewel of a publication. It is hard to…