Candidate Profile

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Anthropology & Cultural Studies
History - Maritime
Eileen specialises in the Arts & Treasures, History, Myths & Legends of the Ancient Worlds of Greece and Rome and with an Egyptolgy MA, is also an authority on the people of Ancient Egypt, their history, language, art, religion and funerary practices. She also has a keen interest and knowledge of Maritime History, especially the Golden Age of Piracy in the Caribbean

She is an experienced Guest Speaker on cruise ships, gives lectures to Archaeology/Egyptology societies in the UK and is also an accredited Lecturer for The Arts Society. She is the author of two books on Ancient Egypt- her first , ‘What Did the Poor Take with Them?’ was published in 2013, and is an academic treatise on Ancient Egyptian grave goods of the non-elite, while her second book ‘Understanding Ancient Egypt’ published in 2014, is a more accessible introduction to the people and practices of this ancient civilisation.

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1) Magic, Myths and Legends - 4
2) Ancient Egypt - 9
3) Art of the Ancient World - 2
4) Piracy - 5

Lecture Titles - Series 1 Magic, Myths & Legends
• Sun Deities of the World
For thousands of years, humans have attempted to explain the Sun in terms of their own worldviews, and have recognized its significance as prime controller of all life on Earth. It was never just a planet that gave warmth and light and topped up a tan! The Sun can be a god, a demon, an all-powerful creator or a ruthless taker of life. This lecture takes you on a world tour of our more fascinating sun god, myths and legends and the best, and the worst, practices of sun worship.

• Mystical Signs & Symbols of the Ancient World
Since the dawn of civilisation, mankind have tried to understand and control the unseen powers of the sky, the earth, the seas and life itself. Ancient peoples left clues to their belief systems in all corners of the world in symbols, inscriptions, monuments and artefacts from the Aztec Calendar Stone and the Spear of Destiny to magic circles and the swastika. I will examine in detail the mysteries of these ancient symbols of our ancestors and their desire to control the Universe.

• Magic and Medicine of the Ancients
The practices of magic and medicine throughout the ancient world were intertwined and often difficult to distinguish. This lecture examines both to demonstrate the similarities and differences, with details of spells, prescriptions and potions to kill or cure. The magicians were powerful, the doctors knowledgeable and the surgeons were skilled but could they help and heal the unfortunates they treated? This lecture identifies what worked – and what didn’t!

• Ancient Artefacts: 3,000 years of Treasures
The Narma Palette and the bust of Nefertiti from Ancient Egypt, the Grecian Mask of Agamemnon and jewellery of the Cretan Warrior give an indication of the wealth of riches from the ancient lands surrounding the Mediterranean. They are a sample of the many discoveries that have been displayed and admired by millions of visitors to museums around the world. This lecture will look in depth at some of the most interesting treasures, examine the techniques and materials used, who commissioned and owned them, their purpose and hidden meaning.

Lecture Titles - Series 2 Ancient Egypt
• Language of the Pharaohs: Discovery & Decipherment
Hieroglyphic script, the sacred language of Ancient Egypt’s pharaonic period, remained an incomprehensible language for over 1,500 years until the discovery of the Rosetta Stone enabled scholars to unlock the mysteries of hieroglyphs and understand the texts. This lecture takes the audience on a journey of discovery, examining the path to decipherment while they learn to identify various symbols, numbers and words in this ancient script.

• Journey to the Afterlife
Every item of Ancient Egyptian art is highly symbolic of the religious beliefs of this ancient culture, especially its belief in the Afterlife. This lecture explores aspects of the deceased’s journey to a heavenly paradise as depicted in the Book of the Dead, the methods used by the team of embalmers to preserve their bodies for eternity, and their faith in magical charms and rituals which ensured eternal life and happiness.

• Understanding Egyptian Pyramids
The pyramids are an iconic and mysterious symbol of Ancient Egypt and many theories have been put forward regarding the origins of their design and build; many people suggest they were built with slave labour and some claim aliens were responsible. This lecture follows the development of the pyramids from mastaba to the Great Pyramid at Giza and explains the archaeological evidence for their existence as remarkable feats of innovation, design, logistics, and administration.

• The Golden Pharaoh
Tutankhamun came to the throne as a young boy of eight years old and died nine years later, too young to have achieved very much in his short life, but now the most famous pharaoh, known for the incredible treasures which were buried with him. This lecture introduces us to the ‘boy king’ and his family and explores his small burial chamber in the Valley of the Kings, including the latest evidence on what, and whom, lies behind his tomb walls. Some of the many wonderful things found in his tomb will be examined in detail, focussing on the materials used, their purpose and significant religious symbolism and meaning.

• What killed Tutankhamun?
The young Pharaoh’s death has been a challenging enigma since his tomb was first opened in 1922 by the British archaeologist, Howard Carter. There are many theories relating to the cause of his death including murder, accident and disease. This lecture examines each possible cause in detail and the evidence for each theory, looking at Carter’s own diary entries, photographs, and modern scientific analysis to unravel the strands of this intriguing mystery.

• The Tomb Builders of Ancient Egypt
This lecture takes you on a voyage of discovery about the crème de la crème of the Ancient Egyptian workforce who created the Pharaohs’ tombs in the Valley of the Kings. It looks at their homes, families and village life in Deir el Medina as well as the skills, methods and materials they employed to accomplish such commendable work. Examples of their interpretation of the Afterlife in the tombs of the kings and their own burial places will demonstrate their skill and artistry.

• Ancient Egyptian Magic & Medicine
The practices of magic and medicine in Ancient Egypt were intertwined and often difficult to distinguish. This lecture examines both to demonstrate the similarities and differences, with details of spells, prescriptions and potions to kill or cure. The magicians were powerful, the doctors knowledgeable and the surgeons were skilled but could they help and heal the unfortunates they treated? This lecture identifies what worked – and what didn’t!

• Influential Queens of Ancient Egypt
Throughout the ancient history of Egypt, its queens made a difference to the lives and fortunes of the country and its kings. For us, looking back down the millenia, they remain quite mysterious figures, always walking in the shadow of their husband, the pharaoh. This lecture identifies the women who were a real influence on society, the real powers behind the throne, the queen who was portrayed as a man, and the most beautiful and best loved of all the queens. It also examines the turbulent life and loves of Cleopatra, the last Queen of Egypt.

• Party Time in Ancient Egypt
Contrary to popular belief, the daily life of an Ancient Egyptian was not preoccupied with arrangements for his death, burial and the Afterlife. Their frequent celebrations were done in style with good food and drink and they were entertained by accomplished musicians and dancers. This lecture features the secrets of a good time, Ancient Egyptian style, with details of their festivals, clothes, jewellery, make-up , food and drink, in fact all you need to know about how they ‘strut their stuff’.

Lecture Titles Series 3 - Art of the Ancient World
• Understanding Ancient Egyptian Art: Wall Reliefs & Murals
Egypt has a wealth of artefacts dated to its ancient past that today can be classified as art. This lecture examines one genre, the splendid wall reliefs and paintings found in tombs, drawing on examples from the Old, Middle and New Kingdom Periods. It identifies the techniques, materials and different styles used by their accomplished artisans to achieve the beautiful paintings and reliefs we can still see today, more than 3,000 years after the burial tombs were sealed.

• Pharaonic Art: Hidden Meanings Revealed
From pyramids and temples to jewellery and furniture, every item from Ancient Egypt is steeped in religious symbolism and magical power. This lecture reveals the meaningful messages behind the artistry, unravels the religious symbolism inherent in their world and lays bare their greatest hopes and fears.

Lecture Titles Series 4 - Piracy
• The Golden Age of Piracy
Eighty years of piracy when no-one was safe from buccaneers, pirates and privateers – the English, French and Dutch attacked Spanish colonies and shipping in the Eastern Pacific, the East India Company was a regular target on its world voyages and Anglo-American privateers turned en-masse to piracy in the Caribbean. This talk charts the history of the ‘exciting’ golden age of robbery on the high seas.

• Pirate, Privateer or Naval Admiral – Any Difference?
We all have an image of pirates from fictional characters like Long John Silver and Captain Jack Sparrow– they’re swashbuckling heroes with a twinkle in their eye! But the real pirates, were Calico Jack, Blackbeard, Henry Morgan and Admiral Sir John Hawkins among many others. Find out who was successful and what happened to the rest!

• Women in Piracy.
Women on board ship were regarded as bad luck, so how did a female pirate become Queen? Some women pirates were as notorious as the worst of the men and one in particular was extremely clever. In this talk I will discuss the challenging lives of women pirates, the wives of pirates left at home and ‘friends’ of pirates …one in every port!

• Pirate Treasure
X marks the spot on treasure maps where gold bullion and jewellery were buried in treasure chests by swashbuckling pirates. But is that fact or intriguing fiction? In this talk I will identify the treasure, who stole it and what happened to their ill-gotten goods!

• The Life of a Pirate
What was life really like on a pirate ship? Who were the men (and women) who worked the ships? What did they eat and drink? Did they really have peg-legs, eye patches and parrots? We’ll uncover the reality of life on board and bury the myths.
I have worked as a Guest Speaker for 4 years and have completed more than 25 cruises, giving a total of 120 talks
03/01/2013 10/01/2013 Thomson Celebration - Red Sea Magic
11/04/2013 18/04/2013 Thomson Celebration - Red Sea Magic
19/07/2013 26/07/2013 Oceana E316Q
01/12/2013 15/12/2013 Oriana X327
19/01/2014 28/01/2014 Adonia D401
20/03/2014 01/04/2014 Arcadia J401
14/07/2014 26/07/2014 Oceana E419
24/10/2014 04/11/2014 Aurora R420
12/12/2014 26/12/2014 Azura A431
30/12/2014 11/01/2015 Oriana X431
06/02/2015 23/02/2015 Oriana X503
11/4//2015 23/04/2015 Arcadia J501
29/05/2015 05/06/2015 Adonia D511
24/06/2015 08/07/2015 Oriana X512
12/07/2015 19/07/2015 Ventura N519
02/08/2015 09/08/2015 Adonia D517
15/08/2015 22/08/2015 Azura A520
30/09/2015 14/10/2015 Oceana E521
19/12/2015 30/12/2015 Arcadia J521
27/01/2016 08/02/2016 Arcadia J601
20/04/2016 04/05/2016 Oceana E606
10/06/2016 17/06/2016 Oriana X608
27/07/2016 07/08/2016 Oriana X6111
4/01/2017 21/01/2017 Aurora R701-1
13/04/2017 21/04/2017 Arcadia J701
06/05/2017 14/05/2017 Arcadia J702