How we misunderstand the ancient world

Dr Stacy Hackner

Monday, January 7 2019 at 7:30PM

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40-42 Chalk Farm Road
London NW1 8BG

Dr Stacy Hackner

What's the talk about?

We often see the past through the lens of media, who take great leaps with facts.

Do you imagine cavemen going out to club a bear while cavewomen stayed home with the kids? Did you learn in school that the Greeks invented civilization? Do you believe that aliens built the pyramids? When you see the image of apes evolving into man, do you stop to question the idea that it represents a progression to the ultimate goal of contemporary Western civilization? These are all myths about the ancient world perpetuated by the media, uninformed pseudoscientists, and sometimes outright racists. The way we teach history tends to focus a model of humanity that’s reinforcing 1950s white gender roles and reproducing capitalist patriarchy. I’ll discuss a few ways in which a common conception of the past doesn’t add up, why we’ve come to think of history in this biased way, and how we can continue to question and correct these misunderstandings.


Dr Stacy Hackner is a bioarchaeologist focusing on ancient activity patterns in Sudan and diseases in 19th-century Cyprus. She has excavated human remains in four countries and lectures at UCL and Glyndwr University. She has also worked in public engagement at UCL Museums and at science festival booths, where she has learned to battle conspiracy theorists.


The event takes place at The Monarch which has a full menu. Please get there early for a table and to order your food and drinks.