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EEG Trip Behind the Scenes at the British Museum (Plus a Visit to the Sir John Soane Museum)

In November a group of us from the Essex Egyptology Group had the chance to visit parts of the British Museum that aren’t generally open to the public – some of the storerooms where the 95% of the Egyptian artifacts that aren’t on display are held. I’d been on one of these trips before several years ago, so was pleased at the chance to go again – partly because it’s a chance to see items you don’t normally see, and partly because it would be someone different showing us round so we would see different things. When we’d all arrived we were split into two groups, the one I was in was shown round by Adrienn Almásy. Almásy took us to the Papyrus room first – this is her speciality, she works on Demotic and Coptic texts. There are around 3,300 papyri that belong the museum – some of which… Read More »EEG Trip Behind the Scenes at the British Museum (Plus a Visit to the Sir John Soane Museum)

EEG Trip to Manchester Museum, November 2016

In November last year the Essex Egyptology Group organised a trip to Manchester to visit the museum there and to get a behind the scenes tour of the Egyptian collections from Campbell Price, the curator of Egypt and Sudan at the museum. I took quite a few photos on this trip, some are in this post and they are all up on flickr, click here to get to the album or on any photo in this post to go to flickr. We arrived at the museum about an hour before it opened to the public and were met by Campbell Price in the foyer. He took us up to the Egyptian gallery, but first we stopped in one of the other galleries where there was a bust of Jesse Haworth so that Price could tell us about the history of the collection. As with so many other museums the earliest… Read More »EEG Trip to Manchester Museum, November 2016

Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom (exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art)

When we visited New York last year we timed our visit to coincide with the opening of an exhibition that the Metropolitan Museum of Art was putting on: Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom. The Middle Kingdom was regarded by later Ancient Egyptians as their “classical” age – for instance one of the teaching texts from the New Kingdom is about this era. It was probably composed in the 18th Dynasty, but it tells of a vision that Senwosret I has of his father Amenemhat I after Amenemhat’s death. In that vision Amenemhat I talks about the proper ways to be a king. We often almost overlook the Middle Kingdom nowdays, as being “just” that bit between the Giza Pyramids and the time of the Valley of the Kings. Certainly I don’t think I’ve been to another large exhibition concentrating on this era. They let us take photos inside the… Read More »Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom (exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art)

From Cairo to Constantinople: Early Photographs of the Middle East

One of the Prince’s Souvenirs In early February J and I visited the From Cairo to Constantinople: Early Photographs of the Middle East exhibition at the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace. My photographs are on flickr as always. This exhibition was a collection of photographs and objects related to Queen Victoria’s eldest son’s trip to the Middle East. The future King Edward VII was sent on this tour as a part of his education in 1862 when he was 20 years old – this was part of the “next step” in his education once his formal schoolroom education was finished. It was planned by Victoria and Albert in 1861, and despite Albert’s death only a few months before the departure date it went ahead as planned. The education remit of the trip extended past sightseeing and into diplomatic meetings – the Prince of Wales met the various local kings, leaders etc… Read More »From Cairo to Constantinople: Early Photographs of the Middle East

Discovering Tutankhamun (Exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum)

In the middle of August we went to the Discovering Tutankhamun exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum. When we were there we met up with other people from the Essex Eygptology Group who’d come across for the day (we were staying with my parents for the weekend so were already in Oxford). A lot of the items in the exhibition came from the Griffith Institute, who have all the papers and so on relating to Howard Carter’s discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun. The first third of the exhibition was about the discovery itself. It started with a bit of biographical information about Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon before moving on to the discovery and the start of the excavation. This section included some of the original index cards for the objects, and the photographs taken by Harry Burton. As the photos are all in black and white they annotated the… Read More »Discovering Tutankhamun (Exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum)

Ancient Lives, New Discoveries (British Museum Exhibition)

The British Museum have a new Egyptian related exhibition that opened on Thursday, so of course J felt we had to go as soon as we could. He took the day off on Friday and we first went to the curator’s introduction talk (given by John Taylor) and then visited the exhibition itself. I’d been going to write abuot the talk and the exhibition separately, but the talk really was an introduction, overview and some additional context for the exhibition rather than something separate. Taylor was a good speaker, so I’m glad we went to the talk first, but I’m not sure there was much in it that wasn’t in the exhibition itself (although that in part is because the exhibition is so well organised & clearly labelled). So if you decide to go to one of the other Curator’s Introduction talks (I think there’s another 4 across the run… Read More »Ancient Lives, New Discoveries (British Museum Exhibition)

Manchester Museum

A couple of weeks ago we visited J’s sister & family in Macclesfield for a weekend, and spent the Saturday in Manchester. In the afternoon J and I had a look around the recently refurbished Egyptian collection at the Manchester Museum – it had been nearly 5 years since we last went to that museum, and we were interested to see what they’d changed. I didn’t have my proper camera with me (because we were going to see Maxïmo Park play that evening) so the photos I took were on my phone. The camera on that isn’t really very good at low light situations like a museum, but I’ve found that in some cases application of a filter and a frame will make the inadequacies of the image look intentional 😉 And besides it’s kinda fun to play around with the software sometimes 🙂 I’ve put a set up on… Read More »Manchester Museum

Neues Museum, Berlin

As well as the Amarna exhibition (post) J and I spent quite a lot more time in the rest of the Egyptian collections in the Neues Museum. Where we could take photos, and I did – you can find them on flickr and some highlights in this post. Floor 1 (Ground Floor) As you go into the museum the Egyptian collections start on the right hand side with a room they title “Prologue” that covers where they got their material – i.e. the German excavations in Egypt. I’m not, as it happens, particularly interested in 19th Century colonial behaviour by the European nations so I was more looking at the various objects in their own right. Notably this room had some of the original ceilings of the museum, which are painted blue with gold Egyptian style decoration. I particularly liked a pair of objects where they had the vase they… Read More »Neues Museum, Berlin

Im Licht von Amarna (Exhibition at the Neues Museum, Berlin)

Back in March J & I visited Berlin (post) and the main purpose of our visit was to go to the exhibition at the Neues Museum about Amarna – Im Licht von Amarna (In the Light of Amarna). We went in March because the exhibition was originally scheduled to end in mid-April, but I think it’s been extended till early August now. I’ve finally finished processing my photographs from the Neues Museum, originally I was going to post about both the exhibition & the rest of the museum in the same post. However it was turning into a bit of a monster post, so I’ve split it into two and in this post I’m going to talk about the Amarna exhibition (where photography wasn’t permitted). 100 Jahr Fund der Nofretete The premise for this exhibition is that it is 100 years since the famous bust of Nefertiti was found, and… Read More »Im Licht von Amarna (Exhibition at the Neues Museum, Berlin)

EES Trip to Oxford

On November 10 the Egypt Exploration Society (of which J is a member) organised a guided tour round 3 Egyptian collections in Oxford. The first of these was the archives in the Griffith Institute (no photography permitted in this one) – they have a large collection of the notes, photographs, drawings etc of several important Egyptologists, including all of Howard Carter’s documents. As this is not normally open to the public it was particularly exciting to be shown some of the collection. Two of the staff, Elizabeth Fleming and Catherine Warsi, gave us an hour’s talk. First they gave an overview of some of the prominent Egyptologists associated with the Institute and then moved on to a biography of Howard Carter concentrating on his work in Egypt and the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in particular. They showed us several of the watercolours and line drawings he did in his initial… Read More »EES Trip to Oxford