Part of our Myth and Reality Season

Tue 14 Feb, 10–11am

For parents and carers with babies under 12 months or toddlers, but older siblings welcome

With Kyle Jordan, Curating for Change Fellow, Ashmolean Museum and Pitt Rivers Museum

Headley Lecture Theatre

Booking is required

'Man is Clay and Straw'

Themes of disability in Ancient Egyptian Myth and Literature

Come and join us at the second in our new series of baby and toddler-friendly lectures designed to uncover more about the myths and reality present in our collections. Feed your inquisitive minds while feeling comfortable bringing tiny tots.

At this lecture, our Curating for Change Fellow, Kyle Jordan, will explore disability in Ancient Egypt, drawing on objects and stories from the Ashmolean's collections and from literature. Kyle specialises in Egyptology and the study of disability in antiquity.

Kyle Jordan, Curating for Change Fellow at the Ashmolean, in the Egypt galleries

Kyle Jordan in the Egypt galleries

 While the social concept of disability is relatively modern, it’s lived imprint on our bodies and minds has been a universally shared human experience across time and space, and has been interpreted in many different ways through many different cultural lenses.

How did the Ancient Egyptians conceive of and approach differing embodiments of what we might call disability today, and how can we begin to understand that? Through a close reading of Egyptian myth and literature alongside material and curatorial evidence, Kyle will help us unravel the nuances in their feelings towards different changes experienced by bodies and minds.

The ancient Egyptian dwarf god Bes as a Roman soldier figurine

Figure of the Ancient Egyptian dwarf god Bes as a Roman soldier

 Living things, mortal and divine alike, share in one constant - we all go through phases of transition and transformation. Learnings from the Ancient Egyptians can help us understand these experiences, which make us what we are.

Practical information

The event takes place in the Headley Lecture Theatre on the lower ground floor, which is lift-accessible. Buggies or pushchairs are welcome in the Museum and we can also store buggies if needed.

This lecture is one in our 2023 series of Bring Baby Lectures.


This event has now taken place.

Kyle Jordan is one of the fellows for the Curating for Change project, which aims to highlight disability histories within the museums' collections.