Subject to revision.

Conference Opening

8:00 am - 8:30 am
Tea, Coffee, Checking in
8:30 am - 9:00 am
Welcome by conference convenors, Acknowledgement of Country, Introduction of the Minister for Education
Dr Gil Davis, Dr Lea Beness, Ms Neenah Gray, Prof Sherman Young
9:00 am - 9:15 am
Official opening of conference.
The Hon. Rob Stokes
9:15 am - 10:00 am
Keynote 1 - How should we reconstruct the past? (also SoR)
Prof Christopher Smith
10:00 am - 10:40 am
Keynote 2 - Lake Mungo: the deep time history of its people. (also SoR)
Dr Nicola Stern
10:40 am - 11:00 am
Morning Tea
11:00 am - 11:40 am
Keynote 3 - The religious dimension in human history (SoR)
Prof Tzvi Abusch

Morning Session 1

Ancient History Session Chair
Ms Toni Hurley
11:45 am - 12:15 pm
Alexander the Great -- value & limitations of the literary sources.
Prof Ian Worthington
12:15 pm - 12:45 pm
The portrayal of Sparta in ancient texts - what can we believe?
Dr Ian Plant
12:45 pm - 1:15 pm
Agrippina: an historiographical approach
A/Prof Tom Hillard

Morning Session 2

11:45 am - 12:15 pm
Using evidence -- archaeology & the bible. (also SoR)
Dr Kyle Keimer
12:15 pm- 12:45 pm
Theoretical thinking and scientific approaches in archaeology - Minoan Crete
Dr Susan Lupack
12:45 pm- 1:15 pm
Death on the Nile - Old Kingdom Egypt
Prof Naguib Kanawati


1:15 pm - 2:15 pm
Delicious Lunch
1:15 pm - 2:15 pm
Technology demos: Archaeological excavation display

Afternoon Session 1

Ancient History Session Chair
Ms Kate Cameron
2:15 pm - 2:45 pm
Pompeii bodies - issues with the treatment & display of human remains
Dr Ronika Power
2:45 pm - 3:15 pm
Cultural heritage – who owns the past?
A/Prof Malcolm Choat
3:15 pm - 3:45 pm
Pompeii – reconstructing & conserving the past
Prof Ray Laurence
3:45 pm - 4:15 pm
A new approach to teaching archaeology in the classroom/Teacher Resources
Ms. Tamminee Taylor, Dr Brian Ballsun-Stanton, Dr Eve Guerry

Afternoon Session 2

2:15 - 2:45
Strong women and what men think of them - Hatshepsut
Ms Pauline Stanton
2:45 pm - 3:15 pm
Silver and Sandals: Social Justice and the Hebrew Bible (SoR)
Dr Louise Pryke
3:15 pm - 3:45 pm
Sacred Texts and Writings on the Meaning of Dreams: the Qur'an and Hadith compared with Biblical Teachings (SoR)
Prof Bronwyn Neil
3:45 pm - 4:15 pm
How core are ethics for Early Christianity?
Dr Chris Forbes

Closing Session

4:15 pm - 4:30 pm
The new syllabus/Wrap up
A/Prof Peter Keegan


Agrippina: an historiographical approach

Tom Hillard

This short presentation will focus upon Personalities in their Times. Option J --- Agrippina the Younger. The HSC Stage 6 Syllabus Guidelines suggest that we focus, inter alia, on 'ancient and modern images' of the woman, and upon one particular source, evaluating it in the context of other available sources. With regard to Agrippina it is hard to ignore Tacitus who offers an excellent case study in the ways the past can be reconstructed, the reasons why it is studied, and the prejudices that frequently mark the exercise. Tacitus' vivid narrative will be dissected (with regard to key episodes) and compared with the contemporary (primary) data (coins and inscriptions).

Pompeii – reconstructing & conserving the past

Ray Laurence

The syllabus for Pompeii within the HSC demands that students 'analyse issues relating to the ownership, custodianship and conservation of the ancient past' (AH12-10). This area is something of a challenge and it is with this in mind that this talk is offered. The documentation produced by UNESCO will be shown to provide students with clear evidence, from which they may develop analyses of ownership, custodianship and conservation of the site. These documents have a richness to them that identifies problems of conservation, and the solutions that UNESCO feel will be needed to resolve them. This approach allows teachers and students to engage with the wider issue -- what is Pompeii for? Answers to this question are contained in the designation by UNESCO of the 'universal value' of Pompeii to all inhabitants of the world. The concerns of UNESCO over the management and conservation at Pompeii are also documented and published. Further material from which students can use to make their cases with regard to ethics, conservation, and responsibilities of the Italian state.

Silver and Sandals: Social Justice and the Hebrew Bible (SoR)

Louise Pryke

In the opening chapters of the Book of Amos, the prophet gives an angry polemic against Israel for selling the righteous for silver and the needy for a pair of shoes. The focus on social justice in Amos reflects the centrality of ethics in the Hebrew Bible. From the Ten Commandments to the Prophetic Vision, ethical considerations are at the very heart of Judaism. God's identification as compassionate (Exodus 34), is reflected in concern for the socially disadvantaged in the Ten Commandments and the Prophetic Books, such as Amos. Along with forming a central part of the Decalogue, the emphasis on social justice is reflected in the concept of 'Tikkun Olam' (the repair of the world). In the core ethical teachings of Judaism, compassion and social justice are a vital part of the community of Israel's intimate relationship with God in the past, present, and future.

Lake Mungo: the deep time history of its people

Nicola Stern

Lake Mungo is known the world over as the burial place of Mungo Lady and Mungo Man, the oldest-known representatives of the First Australians. However, buried in the lunette bounding Lake Mungo are thousands of traces of past human activity: the remains of fireplaces, burned food remains, and scatters of stone, bone and shell tools that were once the mainstay of everyday life. These are preserved in sediments that span most of the known history of human settlement in Australia and their study is yielding new insights into the changing pattern of life on the edge of the continent's arid core.

Alexander the Great -- value & limitations of the literary sources

Ian Worthington

In this talk I focus on the later literary sources on Alexander the Great, discussing their veracity, and relating them back to contemporary and near-contemporary accounts of his reign to show their strengths and weaknesses.

Speaker bios

Rob Stokes

Rob is currently the Minister for Education with the NSW Government, where he is responsible for the leadership of teaching and learning across the primary, secondary and tertiary education sectors in NSW. He has previously taught students at secondary, undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Rob has also served as Minister for Planning, where he was focused on promoting development throughout the state that improves people's lives into the future, as well as securing the conservation and sustainable use of our State's environmental and historic heritage. Rob has also served as Minister for Environment and Heritage, Assistant Minister for Planning, and Minister for the Central Coast.

Previous parliamentary roles have included service as the inaugural Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy, membership of the parliamentary Privileges committee and the committee on the Independent Commission Against Corruption, and as Opposition Parliamentary Secretary for Planning and Infrastructure.

Outside parliament, Rob has been an Honorary Fellow with Macquarie Law School, a director of the Sydney Centre for Innovation in Learning and an Assessor with the Northern Beaches Branch of Surf Life Saving Australia. Rob has also worked as a solicitor in general commercial practice.

He was first elected as the parliamentary representative for the NSW electorate of Pittwater in 2007, and was re-elected with an increased majority in 2011 and 2015. Rob has double degrees in arts and law and has completed a PhD in law under a Commonwealth Scholarship. He is currently reading for a MSc in sustainable urban development.

Tzvi Abusch

Tzvi Abusch is Rose B. and Joseph Cohen Professor of Assyriology and Ancient Near Eastern Religion at Brandeis University. He received a Ph.D. in Assyriology from Harvard University. Prof. Abusch has taught at the Jewish Theological Seminary and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has held a number of awards and fellowships. Most recently, he was the Beaufort Visiting Scholar, St John's College, University of Cambridge. His primary fields of research and publications are Mesopotamian religion, magic, literature, and thought as well as Biblical and Babylonian interconnections. A volume on the Epic of Gilgamesh appeared in 2015. Some of his studies on Babylonian witchcraft are to be found in his Mesopotamian Witchcraft: Towards a History and Understanding of Babylonian Witchcraft Beliefs and Literature (2002); the anti-witchcraft texts themselves are being published in his The Magical Ceremony Maqlû: A Critical Edition (2016) and in Abusch & Schwemer, Corpus of Mesopotamian Anti-witchcraft Rituals, vols. 1-3 (2011; 2016; 2019).

Brian Ballsun-Stanton

Brian Ballsun-Stanton is Solutions Architect (Digital Humanities) for the Macquarie University Faculty of Arts with a PhD from UNSW in Philosophy. He is working with researchers from across Australia to deploy digital technologies and workflows for their research projects. He has developed a new methodology (The Social Data Flow Network) to explore how individuals in the field understand the nature of data. Brian's current research interests are in exploring the Philosophy of Science's interactions with the Open Data movement, and building tools for rapid analysis and bulk manipulation of large ancient history corpora.

Kate Cameron

Kate Cameron has had extensive experience as a history teacher and as a teacher educator at Macquarie University. She served as Senior Assessment Officer HSIE at the Board of Studies, managing the development of HSC examinations. Kate plays a key role in professional development for teachers of history, through programs conducted by HTA and the Centre for Professional Learning. Kate's published works include textbooks and kits as well as chapters and articles on history teaching in a range of publications and websites.

Malcolm Choat

Malcolm Choat is Associate Professor in the Department of Ancient History at Macquarie University, where he teaches the Coptic language, the history of Roman and Late antique Egypt, and religion and magic in the ancient world. His research interests cover Christianity, magic, and monasticism in late antique Egypt, scribal practice in the Roman world, and more recently forgery, authenticity, antiquities collection, the ethics of the study of antiquity, and the construction of the ancient world in the present day.

Chris Forbes

Chris Forbes is Senior Lecturer in Ancient History, and President of the Society for the Study of Early Christianity. His fields of research and teaching focus on New Testament history, Alexander the Great and Hellenistic history, Graeco-Roman History of Ideas and the intersection of early Christianity and Graeco-Roman culture. His current research is in the field of the relationship between religion and philosophy in Graeco-Roman thought. He has taught at Macquarie in various positions since 1985, full time since 1987, and was appointed Senior Lecturer in 2001. In 2017 he was winner of the inaugural Faculty of Arts Teaching Champion award.

Eve Guerry

Dr Eve Guerry is the Acting Manager of the Museum of Ancient Cultures at Macquarie University, with special responsibility to the schools education programs. She is also the Roth Fellow for Ancient Israel School Outreach. Eve has research and teaching expertise in the cultures of Ancient Egypt and Ancient Israel, having completed her PhD in Egyptology at Macquarie University in 2010 on the topic of boundary transgression in Ancient Egyptian society. Eve loves to teach and to enhance the teaching and learning interactions between the secondary and tertiary communities.

Tom Hillard

Tom Hillard is Honorary Associate Professor in Roman History at Macquarie University, where he has taught for close to four decades. He was formerly Deputy Dean of Humanities at Macquarie, and is currently engaged in full-time research. He has also taught at the University of New England, and his principal research interests lie in Roman Republican politics, Roman social history (and particularly Gender issues) and ancient harbour archaeology.

Toni Hurley

Toni's History teaching career includes 30 plus years in High schools followed by several years in History teacher education programs at UTS and Sydney University. She is co-author of the Antiquity series of senior Ancient History texts and is currently President of the NSW History Teachers' Association.

Naguib Kanawati

Naguib Kanawati obtained his MA from the University of Alexandria and his PhD from Macquarie University. He has excavated at many sites in Upper Egypt as well as at Giza and Saqqara and is currently working at Meir and Beni Hassan, and has published numerous books and articles on his work. Professor Kanawati is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and of the Royal Society of NSW and was awarded the Centenary Medal and the Order of Australia for services to education. He currently holds a chair in Egyptology at Macquarie University.

Peter Keegan

Peter Keegan is Associate Professor in Roman History at Macquarie University. His research ranges from sexuality and body history to the spatial dynamics of social relations in urban and periurban contexts and the epigraphy of ephemeral graffiti and death. His recent publications include Inscriptions in the Private Sphere in the Greco-Roman World, Graffiti in Antiquity, Roles for Women and Men in Roman Epigraphic Culture, and Written Space in the Latin West 200 BC-AD 300. His next publication will be Livy's Women: crisis, resolution and the female in Rome's foundation history (Routledge 2019), a study of legendary and historical women appearing in Livy's Ab Urbe Condita. Peter is Chair of the Higher School Certificate Ancient History Examination Committee.

Kyle Keimer

Kyle Keimer is Lecturer in the archaeology and history of Israel and the Near East at Macquarie University. His research focuses on the early Iron Age (ca. 1200-800 BC) in Israel, including methodological considerations pertaining to the interpretation of the archaeological and textual records of ancient Israel. He is currently co-director of the excavations at the site of Khirbet el-Rai, Israel.

Ray Laurence

Ray Laurence is Professor of Ancient History at Macquarie University (Australia). Previous to his move to Macquarie University -- he was Professor of Roman History and Archaeology at the University of Kent (UK). He has published prize-winning books on Pompeii: Roman Pompeii: Space and Society and Pompeii: The Living City. His work based in Archaeology, History and Classics is characterised by a cross-disciplinary aspect that causes it to be accessible and of wider interest to architects, landscape historians, geographers and urbanists. Of particular interest is his work on the relationship between the physical form of the Roman city and its residents. He has also published extensively on Roman roads and communications, childhood and ageing, quantitative approaches to Latin inscriptions and approaches to cultural change in the Roman Empire. In addition, he has written scripts for cartoons that can be found on TED.Ed that have attracted more than 11 million views on YouTube.

Susan Lupack

Susan Lupack took her B.A. with honours in Classics from New York University, and then was awarded her M.A. in Latin and her Ph.D. in Classics, with a specialty in Greek and Roman Archaeology, from the University of Texas at Austin. During her graduate career, she spent two years at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens working on her doctoral thesis, 'The Role of the Religious Sector in the Economy of Late Bronze Age Mycenaean Greece,' the first year with a Fulbright Fellowship, and the second as a Capps Fellow. After obtaining her doctorate, she was awarded a year-long postgraduate fellowship by the Institute of Aegean Prehistory, which she used to turn her thesis into a book. Since that time, Susan has published many articles and book chapters on Minoan and Mycenaean economy and society, including two chapters in the Oxford Handbook of the Bronze Age Aegean: 'Minoan Religion' and 'Mycenaean Religion.' Susan is also an active field archaeologist, and has worked on projects in Italy, Israel, Cyprus, and Greece, including the Pylos Regional Archaeological Survey and the Athenian Agora Excavations. Since 2006 she has been working on the Eastern Boeotia Archaeological Project, from 2006 to 2012 as co-director and since then as a Senior Ceramics Analyst, for which she and her co-directors were awarded a five-year grant from the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Susan has taught at Brooklyn College, University College London, and the University of Pennsylvania, and from June 2013 to February 2017 she held the position of Editor of Hesperia, The Journal of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. She was very happy to join the Ancient History Department of Macquarie University in February 2017, where she endeavours to bring her enthusiasm for the ancient world to her students in Greek archaeological and language classes. Her current projects include editing the 'Homeric World' section of the new Homer Encyclopedia (Cambridge University Press), which is going to press in April of 2018, and she has begun work on her next book, Mycenaean Religion.

Bronwen Neil

Bronwen Neil is Professor of Ancient History at Macquarie, and director of the Macquarie University Ancient Cultures Research Centre. She is a Fellow and council member of the Australian Academy of Humanities, and treasurer of the Australasian Society for Classical Studies. Her research interests include dreams and their interpretation in the ancient world, and ancient letter collections in Greek and Latin.

Ian Plant

Ian Plant is the Head of the Department of Ancient History at Macquarie University where he teaches Ancient Greek language, historiography and history. He has published two books, Women Writers of Ancient Greece and Rome (Equinox, 2004) and Myth in the Ancient World (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012). He has contributed two articles on the ancient biographies of Thucydides to the most recent edition of Ancient History: Resources for Teachers (46: 2016 (2017)): 'The Life of Thucydides by Marcellinus' and 'The Anonymous Life of Thucydides'. He served as Greek Editor on the Female Biography Project, and contributed 29 short articles on the Greek women in the Chawton House Library Edition of Mary Hays, Female Biography; or, Memoirs of Illustrous and Celebrated Women, of All Ages and Countries (1803) ed. Gina Luria Walker. His other recent publications include 'Mary Hays's classical women and the promotion of female agency' (Routledge, 2017) and the forthcoming 'Oaths and Vows: Binding the Gods to One's Military Success' in Religion & Classical Warfare: Archaic and Classical Greece ed. Christopher Matthew and Michael Schmitz (Pen and Sword, 2018).

Ronika K. Power

Ronika K. Power is a Senior Lecturer in Bioarchaeology in the Department of Ancient History at Macquarie University, an Honorary Research Fellow of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at the University of Cambridge, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries London, and one of the 30 inaugural Superstars of STEM for Science and Technology Australia. Ronika's research platform aligns with biocultural archaeological approaches, whereby data derived from scientific analyses of the human body is interpreted in conjunction with all other forms of archaeological and historical evidence to provide meaningful insights into the demography, health, life-ways and world-views of individuals and groups from past populations. Ronika has applied this methodology to various geographically and temporally diverse populations from across the world: from early Holocene hunter-gatherers of Kenya; to megalithic temple builders of Neolithic Malta; multi-period cemeteries across Egypt; the Garamantes of the pre-Islamic Libyan Sahara; Amarna Period Egyptian colonies in Nubia; Late Anglo-Saxon England child, infant and foetal burials; settlement interments in Mediaeval Benin; and post-14th Century palace burials from the Maldives, to name a few.

Louise Pryke

Louise Pryke is the Lecturer for the Languages and Literature of Ancient Israel in the Ancient History Department of Macquarie University. In 2016, she was one of five recipients of the IAA Fund - an international award for promising scholars in the field of Assyriology. In 2017, Louise won a place in Macquarie University's Faculty of Arts Emerging Scholars Scheme. Recent publications include Scorpion (2016) and Ishtar (2017). She is currently writing her next book Gilgamesh, due for publication later this year.

Christopher Smith

The internationally-renowned Professor Christopher Smith is currently Professor of Ancient History at the University of St Andrews and former Director of the British School at Rome. He has edited or authored 16 books and written numerous chapters and articles in the areas of Roman History and Archaeology, and Greek and Roman Historiography. His most recent book is Omnium Annalium Monumenta: Historical Writing and Historical Evidence in Republican Rome (Brill, 2017).

Pauline Stanton

Pauline Stanton, BA DipEd, Macquarie University (1989), MA (Egyptology), Macquarie University (2000), MRes, Macquarie University (2017), PhD Candidate (2018), has experience in teaching HSC Ancient and Modern History. From 2001 until 2012 she was an Education Officer at the Museum of Ancient Cultures, Macquarie University and is currently a tutor in Egyptian Hieroglyphs for Macquarie Ancient Languages School, Macquarie University. From 2006-- 2011, she worked as a volunteer on the Giza Archives Project (Museum Of Fine Arts, Boston) under the Directorship of Dr Peter Der Manuelian. Her MRes thesis was a philological study of the text inscribed on the bases of Hatshepsut's obelisks at Karnak. This research was presented at the Graduate Conference in November 2017 at Brown University in Providence. The transliteration and translation, which resulted from this research has recently been accepted by the Berlin Institute for their online hieroglyphics database known as The Thesaurus Linguae Aegyptiae. The title of her PhD is 'Hatshepsut: The Ruler Who Defied Her Gender.' One of the aims of the research is to examine the changes in iconography and text that document Hatshepsut's transition from queen regent to female pharaoh in the context of the unique nature of the co-regency with Tuthmosis III.

Nicola Stern

Nicola Stern is a Palaeolithic Archaeologist who teaches in the Department of Archaeology and History at La Trobe University. She leads an inter-disciplinary research project in the Willandra Lakes Region World Heritage Area, in close collaboration with Elders from the Mutthi Mutthi, Ngyiampaa and Pakaantji/Barkindji tribes. She completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Sydney and a PhD at Harvard University and worked on the earliest archaeological traces in Africa and rock shelters in south-west Tasmania before taking up an invitation to help develop a new generation of research at Lake Mungo.

Tamminee Taylor Dos Santos

Tamminee Taylor Dos Santos has an Honours degree in History and Politics, and a Master of Teaching. She is currently a History teacher at Cedars Christian College in Wollongong and particularly enjoys teaching Stage 4 History, where a true love of the subject begins. Having taught History, Anthropology, TOK and Pedagogy in Taiwan, Brazil, Spain and Hong Kong, she now divides her time between teaching, reading Historical Fiction and taxiing her 11 year old son to his various social engagements. Committed to developing excellence in teaching, Tamminee was thrilled to be given the opportunity to team up with Macquarie University's Ancient History Department to develop a new high school resource for teaching archaeology in the classroom. Her key areas of interest include The Roman Republic, Spanish Conquest of Central America and how mythology and legends have been crafted since the beginning of humanity.

Ian Worthington

Ian Worthington is Professor of Ancient History at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, and specializes in ancient Greek history and oratory. Before that he was Curators' Distinguished Professor of History and Adjunct Professor of Classics at the University of Missouri, USA, until 2017. He did his B.A. at Hull, M.A. at Durham and Ph.D. at Monash University. He has published 7 sole-authored books, 1 co-authored book, 9 edited books and 2 volumes of translations (in the University of Texas Oratory of Classical Greece series), and over 100 articles, book chapters, and essays on Greek history, oratory, and epigraphy. His most recent books are Ptolemy I: King and Pharaoh of Egypt (Oxford University Press 2016), By the Spear. The Rise and Fall of the Macedonian Empire (Oxford University Press 2014), and Demosthenes of Athens and the Fall of Classical Greece (Oxford University Press 2013). He co-authored Lives of the Attic Orators: Pseudo-Plutarch, Photius and the Suda with J. Roisman and R. Waterfield in the Clarendon Ancient History Series (2015), and his two most recent edited volumes are the Blackwell Companions to Ancient Macedonia (2010; co-edited with J. Roisman) and Greek Rhetoric (2007). He is still Editor-in-Chief of Brill's New Jacoby, and is currently writing a book on 'Hellenistic' Athens from Alexander the Great to Hadrian. He founded the biennial Orality and Literacy in Ancient Greece international conference series in 1996, and has also given radio and TV interviews in several countries to do with antiquity, appeared in the 2011 BBC TV series Ancient Worlds, and has a 'Great Courses' (Teaching Company) course titled The Long Shadow of the Ancient Greek World on DVD and CD. At Missouri, he won the Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Research and Creativity in the Humanities in 2005, and in 2007 the Student-Athlete Most Inspiring Professor Award. In 2011 he was the recipient of the William H. Byler Distinguished Professor Award and in the same year won a national teaching award, the CAMWS Excellence in College Teaching. In 2013 he was named a University Curators' Distinguished Professor, and in 2016 he won the university Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery annual award.

Conference Location

Art Gallery of NSW