Ahmed Mukhtar

Oud Master, Composer and Teacher


A. Mukhtar, On 18th of February in British Museum

On 18th of February
Music and Poetry, in British Museum

Ahwar Relax and listen to poetry inspired by Museum objects, recitations of
ancient myths or a talk on mathematics by author Simon Singh. Listen to
the music sounds of Babylon by Ahmed Mukhtar, Join a behind-the-scenes
tour, view clay tablets in the historical Arched Room, on Oud (Iraqi
Lute), taste Ancient beers, learn to decipher ancient scripts and take the
ancient Egyptian civil service test. British Museum on 18th of February

Thursday at 6.30



Centaur and Lapith

In response to the Parthenon sculpture
depicting a Centaur and Lapith, an
ensemble of graduates from Central School
of Speech and Drama presents a
performance exploring the idealised body
of Greek sculpture, resistance to cultural
absorption, and the ekstasis of sacred
processions. Includes students from Trinity
Laban and the University of Wyoming.

Room 18

19.30–19.40 & 19.50–20.00

The Sphinx of Taharqo

Poet, novelist and Fellow of the Royal
Society of Literature Carol Rummens reads
contemporary verse she has written in
response to the Sphinx of Taharqo.

Room 65


The Tale of Sinuhe

The Tale of Sinuhe from c. 1850 BC is
considered the supreme masterpiece of
ancient Egyptian poetry. It will be
performed by Gary Pillai and Shobu
Kapoor, following their acclaimed recital of
the poem at the Ledbury Poetry Festival.
Introduced by the poem’s translator
Richard Parkinson, curator in the Museum’s
Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan.

Room 4



18.40–19.00 & 19.10–19.30

Hieroglyph workshop

A short introduction to hieroglyphs and the
basics of ancient Egyptian writing with
independent lecturer Margaret Maitland.
Learn how to read symbols on the
monuments of Ramesses the Great,
hear how the ancient Egyptian language
sounded, and learn how to write your
name in hieroglyphs.

Room 4

18.45–19.45 Ancient Egyptian civil service test

Test your wits against the ancient
Egyptians and see if you can answer
some practical questions based on
the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus. With
independent lecturer Patrick Mulligan.

Room 61

 18.40, 19.20 & 20.00

Special behind-the-scenes visit and
cuneiform demonstration

See ancient cuneiform tablets and a
demonstration on cuneiform writing in
the historic Arched Room with curator
Jonathan Taylor, Middle East.

Meet at the West stairs (north end of
Room 4) five minutes before each session.
Each session is 25 minutes.

Limited places, tickets available at the desk
in the Great Court near Room 4 


The story of ancient beer

Beer has been brewed since the 6th
millennium BC and records indicate that
beer was first brewed in Mesopotamia.
The Beer Academy have picked four beers
which take you through different eras of
brewing techniques. This tasting and
information session will tell you all about
the changes through history in how the
perfect pint was made.

Great Court

Limited places, tickets available at the desk
in the Great Court near Room 4




The myth of kingship in ancient Assyria

The throne room relief from the 9th-
century BC palace of Ashurnasirpal at
Nimrud encapsulates the mythology
surrounding the king in ancient Assyria.
Independent lecturer Lorna Oakes relates
how it also acted as a warning to anyone
contemplating usurping the throne.

Room 7


Mathematical goddesses in
Sumerian culture

The world's oldest poetry was made in
ancient Sumer in southern Iraq, 4,000
years ago. The mathematics, writing and
justice depicted in this pottery portray a
vibrant world of gods and goddess, kings
and commoners. In this talk, Eleanor
Robson, Reader in Ancient Middle Eastern
Science at the University of Cambridge,
explores how ideals of mathematics,
writing and justice were transmitted from
the divine realm to the human – not by
gods, but by goddesses. Room 56


Code breaking

Author, journalist and TV producer Simon
Singh speaks on Greek mathematics, the
Arithmetica by Diphantus, Fermat’s Last
Theorem, ancient codes and code breaking,
which he demonstrates with the help of
the Enigma Cipher. Room 17


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