Click here for previous lectures

24 June 2020Petra: Caravan city of the ancient Arabs
22 July 2020The Post-Impressionist Rebellion: Gauguin, Cézanne, Seurat and van Gogh
23 September 2020The Magnificent Maya: Fact and fantasy
28 October 2020Peggy Guggenheim: The "poor little rich girl" who changed the face of 20th century art
25 November 2020The Field of the Cloth of Gold: 6,000 Englishmen in France for 18 days - how did they do it?

Click on a row and scroll to display more details about the lecture

Petra: Caravan city of the ancient Arabs Neil Faulkner Wednesday 24 June 2020

This lecture has been postponed.

Because of the continuing Government guidance on the Coronavirus epidemic, to ensure all our members, visitors, volunteers and lecturers remain safe, we are postponing the April, May and June lectures, as well as the 6 May Special Interest Morning. Those who have bought tickets for the latter event are receiving refunds. We are also postponing the Shoreditch visit. Once the way ahead is clear, these events will be rescheduled. We are reviewing the situation daily and will update you as soon as there are any further changes to the programme. Thank you for your understanding.  Please keep an eye on the website for the latest information or email


Petra, famous for its hundreds of rock-cut tombs, was a great trading centre of the ancient Arabs on the edge of the desert. This lecture will use the archaeology, architecture, and art of Petra to reconstruct the trade routes, the technology, the everyday life, the hybrid culture, and the death rites of the Nabataean Arabs who occupied the city. We will discover a city on the edge in every sense – standing between desert and sown, between nomadism and civilisation, between Middle Eastern culture and Graeco-Roman classicism: an exotic Oriental mix in a stunning mountain landscape. 

Educated at King's College Cambridge and Institute of Archaeology UCL. Works as lecturer, writer, archaeologist and occasional broadcaster. Research Fellow, University of Bristol. Editor, Military History Monthly. Director, Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project. Director, Great Arab Revolt Project. Author of The Decline and Fall of Roman Britain, Apocalypse, Hidden Treasure, Rome: Empire of the Eagles, and The Ancient Greek Olympics: a visitor's guide. Author of forthcoming Lawrence of Arabia's War. Major TV appearances include Channel 4's Time Team, BBC2's Timewatch, Channel Five's Boudica Revealed and Sky Atlantic's The British.