Monday, 28 January 2013

Mysteries of ancient Egypt revealed at Lancaster City Museum

Photograph courtesy Lancashire County Council
Treasures from the very beginnings of Egyptian history will be on show at Lancaster City Museum from Saturday 2nd February.

'From Egypt's Sands to Northern Hills' features a wide range of stunning artefacts spanning a period of more than 3,000 years, brought together from collections across the north west.

The exhibition focuses on objects relating to everyday life and the afterlife, which was central to the religion of ancient Egypt. All ancient Egyptians, from Pharaohs to farmers, believed in the afterlife and spent their lives preparing for it.

"All of the relics on show were discovered by Professor John Garstang while excavating in Egypt on behalf of Liverpool University between 1900 and 1914," explains Heather Dowler, Lancashire County Council's museum manager at the city museum.

Blackburn-born Garsatng was Professor of Archaeology at Liverpool University from 1907 until 1941 and, in addition to his work in Egypt, also carried out excavations at Roman sites in Britain, Nubia and Northern Syria.

Professor Garstang at work, date unknown. Photograph courtesy Lancashire County Council
"Professor Garstang mainly excavated in cemeteries, which means the objects he retrieved were often of high quality and very well-preserved.

"Among the objects were beautifully decorated vessels, stone statuettes of ordinary soldiers and a very impressive array of wooden masks. Many of these objects are included in this fantastic exhibition."

The exhibition also features a series of free, family-friendly events, including activities for half-term:

Saturday 2 February, 1.30pm to 3.30pm: mark the opening of the exhibition by having a go at making your own Egyptian Mask like those worn by mummified Pharaohs.

*'Pyramid Builder' - Monday 18 February 10.30am to 12pm and 1pm-2.30pm
Build your very own Egyptian Pyramid and discover how these impressive structures were built.

*'Mummy Mayhem' - Tuesday 19 Feb! ruary 10.30am to 12pm and 1pm to 2.30pm: discover how mummies are made and make your own Egyptian Mummy puppet.

'Cartouche Crazy' - Thursday 21 February 10.30am to 12pm and 1pm to 2.30pm: discover how to write like an Egyptian. Use hieroglyphics and make your own Egyptian cartouche out of clay.

Meet an Archaeologist' - Friday 22 February 10.30am to 12pm and 1pm to 2.30pm: find out about our Victorian archaeologist's awesome discoveries in Egypt and have a go at becoming an archaeologist yourself!

(This type of session needs to be booked, as it is often oversubscribed. If you are unable to attend once you have booked, please let the museum know so that someone else can fill your place.)

The exhibition was developed with financial support from Renaissance North West, and is the result of a project to develop a better understanding of Professor Garstang's legacy.

Alongside the exhibits, a display of photographs offers a fascinating insight into what life was like on Garstang's expeditions to Egypt before the First World War.

Lancaster City Museum is run by Lancashire County Council on behalf of Lancaster City Council.

• For more information and to book activities, please phone 01524 64637 or email Alternatively, please visit

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