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Taking a closer look at our Egyptian Collections

We recently held a workshop to explore our Ancient Egyptian collections connected to Flinders Petrie.

Flinders Petrie was an Egyptologist who excavated many of the most important archaeological sites in Egypt. Most of his large collection of Egyptian antiquities are now housed in the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology at UCL.

Many of our collections relating to him came to the Horniman in two phases: firstly by Frederick Horniman collecting them, and secondly, through his son Emslie who was good friends with Petrie.

Although the collection has been researched in the past, not all of this info has made its way to our databases.

So we invited nine Ancient Egypt experts to come to our stores, look at the objects and tell us more.

Throughout the day, we learnt lots of interesting facts and information about the collections, including:

Our collections reflect daily life in ancient Egypt, including objects like ceramics,  combs and tools. Emslie Horniman was very interested in the daily lives of ancient Egyptians and comparing this to the lives of Egyptians in the early 20th century.

We found that we can connect many of our objects from graves with known and identified tombs, through a wide range of archive material such as letters, exhibition catalogues and archaeological photographs.

We also learned that the face on each Egyptian mask is unique, as it connected the person's soul with their body in the after-life.

We'd like to thank all those who came to the workshop, which we organised as part of our Collections People Stories project. Their insights have shed light on fascinating and important objects.