Participants for UCL Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology research project exploring how we model and experience time

22 November 2012

Does your research relate to how time is modelled, mapped, measured or lived? If so, the UCL Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology would like you to get in touch. 

This call is for the UCL Petrie Museum’s new innovative open-ended research project exploring how we model and experience time. Taking the museum context as its starting point, this project will create public platforms for interdisciplinary discussion and creative exploration.

To help us, we’re keen to find out about your expert research on time and temporality in any field, from aesthetic theory to zoology. You may then be invited to take part in a series of public podcasts and events. 

We are particularly keen to talk to you if your research bears on these questions:

  • how our methods of measuring and representing time influence the ways we live in the present, understand the past or imagine and act toward the future
  • how concepts and experiences of time differ between cultures and subcultures, and between official measures of time and how we actually experience time
  • how our experience and understanding of time and history is changing.

The Petrie Museum at UCL preserves an estimated 80,000 objects, mainly excavated and collected under pioneer archaeologist William Flinders Petrie, making it one of the greatest collections of Egyptian and Sudanese archaeology in the world. It illustrates life in the Nile Valley and neighbouring deserts from prehistory through the time of the Pharaohs, to Roman, Coptic and Islamic times.

Yet the impact of archaeologists like Petrie goes far beyond the borders of Egypt. With his ‘Sequence Dates’ for prehistoric objects, and with his meticulous typologies of whole ranges of artefacts, Petrie in Egypt was applying, even creating, frames of time still dominant today. He delivered a useful, strong order for archaeology, but one that entrenches assumptions about evolution, progress, and the decline of one ancient world in the face of another. Through this new project, the Petrie Museum is reworking that legacy in ways that respond to the present and future challenges we all face.

This project is led by artist-curator Cathy Haynes in the role of Timekeeper in Residence, who will be putting together a series of public workshops and debates in 2013 at the UCL Petrie Museum in central London. But, if you’re invited to contribute to a podcast and are based elsewhere, we can arrange to interview you on Skype.

If you’d like to tell us about your work, please email PetrieTimeKeeper@gmail.com by 14 December 2012.