Origins Centre’s next talk, held in conjunction with the Ancient Egyptian Society, invites guests to join a brief exploration of a fascinating period of maritime history. The speaker is Dr. Mark Botha, a committee member of the society as well Medical Director of the Hyperbaric Treatment Centre at the Milpark Hospital. Ancient Egypt was a riverine civilisation, the River Nile its highway. Boats for transport, fishing and pleasure figured prominently in daily life. Early Neolithic petroglyphs in the eastern Egyptian desert, depicting boats, date back to at least 4500 BCE. The evolution of the papyrus boat to the maritime vessels of Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium, spans some 4 000 years. Finds at Dashur, Abydos and on the Giza Plateau, as well as images and models from tombs throughout Egypt, have helped to develop a fair understanding of Egypt’s maritime history. Further insight has been gleaned from the underwater archaeological work currently being done at Aboukir.