ASTENE organises various events throughout the year in order to allow members to have access and to learn about the lives, homes and collections formed by early travellers. 

This page provides information about upcoming events and those which have taken place over the years. For more information about ASTENE’s events, please contact events organiser:

Upcoming Events

ASTENE Annual General Meeting (2018)

Date: Saturday 14th July 2018.

Time: From 1pm.

Venue: Cedars meeting room, University of Reading, Whiteknights Campus, Reading, RG6 6AX.

Cost: This event is free to attend.

Booking: Through Eventbrite. Please use:

The next ASTENE AGM will be held at Reading, in the Whiteknights campus of the University of Reading, at 13.00 pm, on 14th of July 2018. The AGM session will start at 13.30 pm. Our venue is the Cedars meeting room in the Cedars hotel and conference venue, located in the campus.

AGM Programme:

13.00-13.30: Arrivals

13.30-14.30: ASTENE AGM

14.30-15.00: Tea and coffee

15.00-16.00: Lecture programme with talk by Rachel Mairs. Dr Rachel Mairs will talk about Solomon N Negima, a Palestinian dragoman and his clients.

16.15: The AGM day conclusion

Travel Information:

Reading is a major rail hub, and direct rail connections are available from London Paddington, Southampton, Worcester, Bristol, Exeter, Paignton, Penzance, Swansea, Birmingham, Manchester, York, and Newcastle. There are direct coaches from Heathrow and Gatwick airports (coaches stop at Reading rail station). The campus is easy to reach from Reading rail station using the ‘Claret’ or ‘Claret Spritzer’ / no. 21 bus from a stop in front of the station (to the left when you leave the station building, Stop EK, Blagrave Street).

Travel by coach is less flexible, as coaches stop at different locations across the town. If you prefer to travel by coach, please ask your coach company which is their preferred stop that is closest to central Reading.

Travel by car: The Whiteknights campus is approximately 1.5 miles from the M4 motorway. Sat Nav postcode for Shinfield Road and Pepper Lane entrances: RG6 6UR, Sat Nav postcode for the Earley Gate entrance: RG6 7BE.

For maps of the venue indicating how to find the event if travelling via rail, car or public transport, see below

Reading Station, Reading to The Cedars Hotel & Conference Centre


Map Whiteknights campus


Please book via Eventbrite:

The event is free to attend and refreshments will be available (please note special dietary requirements when booking). When booking, please indicate if you expect to need parking. If the university imposes a limit (parking on campus is restricted, then it will be allocated on a first come first served basis). For more information on parking at the campus, see:   and

We look forward to seeing you in Reading.

Western Perceptions of Ancient Egypt

Saturday 22 September 2018

Chaired by: Dr Aidan Dodson, FSA,

Senior Research Fellow, Department of Anthropology & Archaeology, University of Bristol

Astene are pleased to present an Autumn Study Day, to be held at BRLSI (Bath Royal Literary & Scientific Institution) in the beautiful Georgian city of Bath. The programme will be suitable for both Egyptology enthusiasts and those with a general interest in Art.

The day will trace the depiction of Ancient Egypt through the ages, by looking at the artists charged with portraying this exotic land and introducing Egypt to the Western world.

First, we examine the opening up of Egypt with Napoleon’s Campaign and study the work of Vivant Denon, who accompanied Napoleon, and depicted Egypt so vividly in his art.

After a break for coffee, Briony Llewellyn will look at Victorian Orientalist painter David Roberts, who showed the ancient monuments in a contemporary setting with his beautiful paintings.

After lunch, we consider the work of Norman and Nina de Garis Davies. Nina is acknowledged as the leading 20th-century exponent in recording the ancient tombs.

Finally, we bring the day to a close with a look at the way Ancient Egypt has been depicted on the stage and screen.

For full details see the Astene Western Perceptions Programme

Palestine Exploration Fund (PEF) and ASTENE: Joint Event

Palestine Exploration Fund Free Lecture Series (in association with the British Museum Dept. of Middle East – Jointly with ASTENE)
‘The Cynic Abroad: Mark Twain in the Holy Land’
by Rupert Chapman (British Museum & PEF)

In 1867 the PEF began its first serious fieldwork in the Holy Land, sending a team of Royal Engineers led by the young Captain Charles Warren to explore the topography of Jerusalem and seek to identify the location of the Temple.  During the first part of the expedition Warren and his team stayed in the best hotel in Jerusalem, the Mediterranean.  Also in 1867 the Reverend Henry Ward Beecher’s Plymouth Church organised one of the first American ‘package tours’, and a young journalist and budding author, Samuel Langhorne Clemens, from Hannibal, Missouri, better known to posterity as Mark Twain, rushed to secure a place on the tour.  While the group were in Jerusalem, they, also, stayed in the Mediterranean Hotel.  The result of Mark Twain’s tour was the book which catapulted him to national fame, The Innocents Abroad.  This talk will follow Mark Twain and his fellow tourists through Lebanon and the Holy Land, as he pokes fun at himself, his fellow ‘innocents abroad’, and the people and countries through which he travelled.

Date:       Thursday 13th September 2018
Venue:     BP Lecture Theatre
Time:       16.00
Cost:        Free
Booking:   Via the British Museum’s Box Office – Tel: +44 (0)20 7323 8181                                                                                                   Online:

PLEASE NOTE: Booking for the event (via the BM box office) won’t be available until a month to two weeks before the start of the event, so for those who are interested please save the date and ASTENE will send a reminder to book closer to the time.

Please see attached flyer: PEF -ASTENE Lecture Sept13th 2018

For more information please see the PEF website:


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