B.C. Archaeology

Study Tours of the Ancient World

Dr Michael Birrell will be giving the following lectures in 2021


Hi - this is Michael Birrell, the owner/manager of BC Archaeology Travel. I'm an Australian archaeologist and historian who has travelled widely in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. I completed my PhD in 1999 and have excavated at many sites in Egypt and Israel. I've been teaching courses and giving lectures on archaeology and history since 1992.

I am going to teach the following Zoom courses in the coming months and hope you might find them of interest. I'm going to teach on Mondays and Wednesdays and in the 3-5pm Sydney time slot. I will be recording the lectures, so if you can’t actually attend certain lectures, I can always send you a link afterwards.


AUGUSTUS: ROME'S FIRST EMPEROR - a 4-week lecture series - A$110 incl GST
We examine the life and times of Rome's first Emperor Augustus. We explore his origins and family background, his rise to power and conflict with Antony and Cleopatra. The course ends with Augustus's sole rule as Princeps when he established the future structure of the Roman Empire.
Augustus I: Gaius Octavius - Mon 26th July 3-5pm AEST
Augustus II: Philippi - Mon 2nd Aug 3-5pm AEST
Augustus III: Actium - Mon 9th Aug 3-5pm AEST
Augustus IV: Princeps - Mon 16th Aug 3-5pm AEST

ANCIENT PERSIA - a 4-week lecture series - A$110 incl GST
We examine the history and archaeology of ancient Persia from earliest times to the coming of the Arabs. We explore Iran under the Elamites, the accomplishments of the Achaemenid Dynasty and their conquest of the Near East, the rule of the Parthians and the Empire of the Sassanians.
Persia I: Elamites and Medes - Mon 4th Oct 3-5pm AEDT
Persia II: The Achaemenids - Mon 11th Oct 3-5pm AEDT
Persia III: The Parthians - Mon 18th Oct 3-5pm AEDT
Persia IV: The Sassanians - Mon 25th Oct 3-5pm AEDT

EMPIRES OF THE SILK ROAD - a 4-week lecture series - A$110 incl GST
This course examines the archaeology and history of the Silk Road from AD 600 to 1600. We explore the pre-Arab Sogdian culture, the arrival of the Arabs, the creation of the Samanid state, the invasions of the Seljuks and Mongols, and the Empire of Timur (Tamerlane) and his descendants.
Silk Road I: Sogdians and Arabs - Mon 8th Nov 3-5pm AEDT
Silk Road II: Samanids - Mon 15th Nov 3-5pm AEDT
Silk Road III: Seljuks and Mongols - Mon 22nd Nov 3-5pm AEDT
Silk Road IV: Timurids - Mon 29th Nov 3-5pm AEDT

MOROCCO: ISLAMIC KINGDOMS - a 4-week lecture series - A$110 incl GST
This course examines the history and monuments of the Islamic kingdoms of Morocco from the 8th to the 19th Century. We explore the Arab invasions, how the Berbers came to extend their authority over Spain, the rule of the Merenids and the cultural achievements of the Saadian in Marrakesh.
Morocco I: Arabs and Almoravids - Mon 10th Jan 3-5pm AEDT
Morocco II: Almohads - Mon 17th Jan 3-5pm AEDT
Morocco III: Merenids - Mon 24th Jan 3-5pm AEDT
Morocco IV: Saadians and Alouites - Mon 31st Jan 3-5pm AEDT

NORMAN SICILY - a 4-week lecture series - A$110 incl GST
This course examines the history and cultural achievements of the Norman rulers in Sicily. We explore the arrival of the Normans in the 11th Century, their conquest of the island and how they incorporated Arab speaking Muslims into their new kingdom.
Norman Sicily I: First Normans - Mon 14th Feb 3-5pm AEDT
Norman Sicily II: Robert Giscard and Roger I - Mon 21st Feb 3-5pm AEDT
Norman Sicily III: Roger II - Mon 28th Feb 3-5pm AEDT
Norman Sicily IV: William I to Frederick II - 7th Mar 3-5pm AEDT


RAMESSES THE GREAT - a 4-week lecture series - A$110 incl GST
We examine the history of the reign of Ramesses II, one of the greatest rulers of ancient times. We explore his youth and co-regency with his father Sety I, his accession to power, his battles including the Battle of Qadesh, his remarkable building program and the legacy of his long reign.
Ramesses I: Youth - Wed 28th July 3-5pm AEST
Ramesses II: Warrior - Wed 4th Aug 3-5pm AEST
Ramesses III: Builder - Wed 11th Aug 3-5pm AEST
Ramesses IV: Legacy - Wed 18th Aug 3-5pm AEST

ROMAN FRANCE - a 4-week lecture series - A$110 incl GST
We examine the history and archaeology of Roman France from Caesar to Constantine. We explore how the Romans annexed Gaul under Caesar, and how Augustus brought peace and prosperity. We will study the development of the Roman cities down to the barbarian invasions.
Roman France: 1st Century BC - Wed 24th Nov 3-5pm AEDT
Roman France: 1st Century AD - Wed 1st Dec 3-5pm AEDT
Roman France: 2nd Century AD - Wed 8th Dec 3-5pm AEDT
Roman France: 3rd Century AD - Wed 15th Dec 3-5pm AEDT

The lectures will be held online using ZOOM. Lectures will start at 3pm and finish at 5pm (AEDT and AEST – Sydney time), with a short break in the middle. The cost of each series (4 lectures) is A$110 - this includes A$10 GST. Ideally you would send me an email (to info@bcarchaeology.com) with your name, address, phone number, and email address, and statement of which series you are interested in.

Payment (with name clearly stated) can be made either by direct deposit into our account: B.C. Archaeology, Westpac BSB 032082, account number 285359 or by cheque sent to ‘B.C. Archaeology’, PO Box 1236, Mittagong, NSW, 2575 (please include your name, address, phone number and email address with the cheque). After payment, a receipt will be mailed out, with meeting ID and password emailed to participants one day before each class.

Phone: (+61) 0405 492946
Email: info@bcarchaeology.com or mbirrell@tpg.com.au