The Archaeology of Hollywood—Screening and Panel: The Lost City of Cecil B. DeMille


Wednesday, October 10, 2018, 6:00pm to 8:15pm


Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy Street

In 1923, legendary Hollywood director Cecil B. DeMille produced the silent film The Ten Commandments, the precursor to his 1956 masterful remake starring Charlton Heston. DeMille shot the first film in the sand dunes of Santa Barbara County, California, about 150 miles north of Hollywood. He built an enormous set and called it the “City of the Pharaoh.” Designed by Paul Iribe, known as the father of Art Deco, it was the largest set in motion picture history. But when the production finished filming, the city mysteriously vanished.

In 1982, Peter Brosnan, a film student at New York University, was sitting in a bar one night when someone told him that there were ancient Egyptian Sphinxes buried somewhere in the California dunes. The conversation sparked his imagination, and he embarked on what would become a 30-year quest to prove the existence of these Sphinxes and discover DeMille’s lost city.

In 2016, Brosnan produced The Lost City of Cecil B. DeMille, which the Hollywood Reporter called an “irresistible detective story.” This evening will feature a screening of the film, followed by a panel with director Peter Brosnan, executive producer Francesca Silva, and project archaeologist M. Colleen Hamilton. The panel will be led by Peter Der Manuelian, professor of Egyptology, and Adrian Stähli, professor of classical archaeology, both from Harvard University.

This program is presented by the Department of the Classics at Harvard University.

The screening and discussion will take place in Menschel Hall, Lower Level. Please enter the museums via the entrance on Broadway. Doors will open at 5:30pm.
Free admission, but seating is limited. Tickets will be distributed beginning at 5:30pm at the Broadway entrance. One ticket per person.
Complimentary parking available in the Broadway Garage, 7 Felton Street, Cambridge.

Click here to learn more.