On tour Summer 2012

View lunch hour lectures below (as streamed media files) by clicking on the lecture titles, or visit us on Youtube or  UCL iTunes U

At home with the Neanderthals: Excavations at la Cotte de St Brelade, Jersey

Dr Matt Pope, UCL Institute of Archaeology

The Neanderthals represent an incredibly successful and distinctive experiment in being human, they evolved as a separate human lineage over half a million years before apparently disappearing around 40,000 years ago. During this period they occupied large parts of Europe and Western Asia, developed sophisticated tools, mastered fire and engaged in the hunting of large mammals across a variety of different environments.

La Cotte de St Brelade, on the Channel Island of Jersey, is one of the best sites in the world for understanding Neanderthals and their achievement. In this lecture Dr Matt Pope reports on new work being carried out on this mega-site and considers the evolution and ultimate fate of our closest evolutionary relative.

Virtual Visitors: Why would anyone want to visit the British Museum collections online?

Dr Melissa Terras, UCL Centre for Digital Humanities

Launched in October 2007, the British Museum provides virtual access to objects and collections via an online database, and by the end of 2009 nearly 2 million records had been made available.  However, why would anyone want to view a collection online rather than in person, and what would they use it for?

This Lunch Hour Lecture, by Dr Terras, Deputy Director of UCL's Centre for Digital Humanities, discusses what is known about the use of this virtual online resource, and if indeed it is even used.  This talk also presents analysis undertaken by UCL's Centre for Digital Humanities in conjunction with Claire Ross and Vera Motyckova and colleagues at the British Museum.

A book by any other name would smell as sweet

Dr Matija Strlic, UCL Centre for Sustainable Heritage

Few people would fail to recognise the bittersweet and musty smell of a historic library, yet not many would know that this bouquet also tells us what heritage objects are made of. To the heritage scientist, it is intensity of smells that often reveals how quickly objects decay, and the development of breathalysers for this purpose may help in their conservation. This lecture discusses how sniffing objects can thus reveal crucial information, and how smell is also part of an object’s history and part of how we enjoy our heritage.

Discoveries and re-evaluations: Painting practices under the microscope

Libby Sheldon, UCL Art History

Paintings are not always what they seem to be on the surface. Technical investigation, particularly of pigments, has revealed not only surprising differences between the present and the original appearance of works – a violet colour transformed to pale orange, for example - but also the use of unexpected ingredients for certain effects. Recognising the changes to colouring as well as identifying materials can lead to re-evaluation of both the meaning and sometimes the date and attribution of images. This talk uncovers the practices of artists as different as Hilliard and Reynolds; highlighting those of Elizabethan portraitists in the lifetime of Shakespeare. It also asks what this new information means.

Page last modified on 11 jul 12 09:20

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