Why the British Museum still thrills me - even underwater

Why the British Museum still thrills me - even underwater

There are some truly remarkable pieces, including a Taweret figurine so perfectly polished that it might be made of molten metal (see above), a 4th century BC statue of Hapy so colossal the roof on the Sainsbury Exhibition Gallery (in which Sunken Cities is housed) had to be raised to accommodate it, and (my personal favourite) a Horus cippus (called 'Horus-on-crocodiles' for some reason) which perfectly illustrates the decline in hieroglyphic literacy by this period

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Life After Death: Visiting 'Death On The Nile' at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Life After Death: Visiting 'Death On The Nile' at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Review of the brilliant Death on the Nile exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. All in all, a triumphant exploration of the life and light that Egyptians saw in death, a masterful display of highlights of a brilliant collection, and a thoughtful presentation of the work of conservators and restorers in the study of Egyptology.

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Garstang A-go-go

Garstang A-go-go

Now, while you'll still see the obligatory mummy and coffin and a canopic jar or four, you can also get an immediate impression of the academic value of the collection, including photographs from the archives which show Professor Garstang at work in Egypt, and a display of his notebooks. Showing the objects alongside archival objects which illustrate the context in which they were found is another way in which the new museum space underlines how important this collection is.  There are some serious treasures in there, and now it's easy to find them for yourself. 

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Elizabeth Triumphant: Why Elizabeth II has more in common with Ramesses II than Queen Victoria.

Elizabeth Triumphant: Why Elizabeth II has more in common with Ramesses II than Queen Victoria.

The job of any monarch involves a great deal of both domestic and foreign travel, and neither Ramesses nor Elizabeth is an exception. It’s impossible to document how many domestic and foreign trips each has taken, but consider this interesting detail: neither had a passport until 1974. In ancient Egypt such documents did not exist, so you’d be forgiven for thinking that the ruler who received a passport was Queen Elizabeth, right?

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6 Things You Need to Know about Egyptian Hieroglyphs

6 Things You Need to Know about Egyptian Hieroglyphs

Egyptian Hieroglyphs were deciphered just under 200 years ago, but they are still a mystery to many people. Here are 6 fascinating facts about this ancient writing system. 

1. Hieroglyphs may actually be the oldest writing system in the world

It's usually said that writing originated in Mesopotamia - the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers - and that Egypt adopted writing practices from there.

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The Crocodile that Makes No Sound

The Crocodile that Makes No Sound

In ancient Egyptian literature, the crocodile is a fearsome, and feared creature. He is the fate that awaits the unwary fisherman and washerman

He’s even the topic of a whole category of Egyptian magical ‘water’ spells - in fact, I wrote my PhD on those very spells. In these spells, the crocodile is such a great danger that he is often only referred to as 'the one who is on the water' - giving name to something conferred on it too much power.

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