Ancient Objects for Modern Dilemmas: fundraising for Refugee Support Network

‘Remembering the Romans in the Middle East and North Africa’ will be participating in the fundraising evening for the Refugee Support Network at ‘Upstairs at Ritzy’s’, Brixton, London, UK on Tuesday 3rd October 2017. This event is run by the Ancient Objects for Modern Dilemmas project.

Other participants include musicians: Sa’di al Hadithi, Ameen Mokdad and Stef Conner. Nibbles will be provided by Iraqi chef, Philip Juma.

Click here, for tickets and more info.

Poster for Fundraising evening for RSN


Mummy mash-up

Another of the participants, Thandi, at our second workshop at the Petrie Museum on 25th April 2016 was inspired by the mummy portraits. Thandi continued to work on her drawing at home and then added in a background of Siwa oasis using a photograph from a family holiday.


If you want to get creative with a mummy portrait, you can come to one of our workshops at the Great North Museum on 9/10 May 2016.


Funerary Oration

This piece was written by one of the participants, Peter, after the second workshop at the Petrie Museum, in response to one of the mummy portraits on display.


Peter - mummy portrait
Peter’s drawing of the mummy portrait.

“Marcus was one of my greatest friends. We played together as children and we had the same Greek tutor. I loved him like a brother and I think he loved me in the same way. When he was eighteen he went to serve in Ptolemy’s army which was engaged with the 2nd Legion Traiana Fortis. We tried to dislodge them from Alexandria but they were too strong for us and they were relieved after a few months by the 3rd Legion Cyrenaica. Marcus served with great courage but he met his match against the 3rd Legion and was killed along with 3000 others. I went out to the battlefield after the fray and eventually found his body, sadly mutilated. He had several deep wounds in his chest and neck but his face was more or less intact. We brought him here and now bury him with full military honours.

What sort of person was Marcus? In his funerary portrait he looks serious, almost menacing. But I can’t remember that. I remember jokes and laughter, endless intrigues with girls and huge celebrations where vast quantities of wine were consumed. Marcus never had any money because he was always enjoying himself too much. I can’t say he was a very brilliant student: he never did his homework, was usually late for school and often absent on some unlikely pretext. But he passed the test for Ptolemy’s army, so he clearly was no slouch. He was an excellent horseman and a formidable swordsman.

I will miss him terribly and I know his family are totally bereft. May the verdict of his judges in the final reckoning be favourable and his journey to the next world be safe and happy.”


What will inspire you to write? Come to one of our free workshops at the Great North Museum on 9th and 10th May to find an object that inspires you. Come along on the day or book a place:



This project aims to encourage people to create new memories from old objects and to meet the past through writing, drawing and photography.

We invite people to join in via our workshops or by sending us writing, drawings and photographs from your memorable encounters with the Romans in the Middle East and North Africa.

Contact us:


Twitter: #RetroProject


Please note: this is an academic project and as such does not espouse particular religious or political views.

مرحبا بكم

هذا المشروع يسعى إلى تشجيع الناس لاكتشاف ذاكرة جديدة من شئ قديم وللالتقاء مع الماضي بواسطة الكتابة والرسم والصورة واكتشاف ما تعنى الحياة القديمة لهم في المستقبل

ندعوكم للمشاركة في هذه الفعالية اما بحظوركم معنا أو بارسال ما لديكم من الذاكرات ـ في كتابة و رسم و صورة فوتوغرافية ـ من الرومانيين في الشرق الاوسط و في شمال افريقيا


Twitter: #RetroProject


ملاحظة هامة: هذا مشروع أكاديمي ولايتبنى ولايشجع وجهة نظر ديني او سياسي