Discovering Ancient Egypt is a National Museums Scotland touring exhibition which will examine Scotland’s contribution to Egyptology through the lives of three remarkable people whose work in the field helped to improve our understanding of ancient Egyptian culture.
An archaeologist, artist, and astronomer, their skill, dedication, and enthusiasm ensured that they each made a significant contribution to the study of ancient Egypt. Today’s Egyptologists are still making discoveries thanks to the important work they carried out.
Wick-born Alexander Henry Rhind (1833-1863) was the first archaeologist to work in Egypt and a pioneer of systematic excavation and recording. On display will be objects from a tomb he excavated including a Book of the Dead papyrus belonging to a Prime Minister and inscribed wooden labels which were discovered with the mummified remains of ten princesses who shared the same royal tomb.
Based in Edinburgh, Charles Piazzi Smyth (1819-1900) served as Astronomer Royal for Scotland and carried out the first largely accurate survey of the Great Pyramid and the first-ever photography of its interior with his wife Jessie. Visitors to the exhibition will be able to see some of his instruments including a measuring rod he used to carry out this pioneering work.
Annie Pirie Quibell (1862-1927) was an Aberdonian who was one of the first women to study Egyptology and went on to work on significant excavations as an artist and archaeologist. She studied and excavated with W M Flinders Petrie, who is often described as the “father of Egyptian archaeology”.
On display will be finds from one of the earliest temple sites in Egypt.
Her artistic skill was put to great use recording the site and artefacts found, and academics today still study these drawings in their research. On display will be finds from one of the earliest temple sites in Egypt at Hierakonpolis– including a bowl decorated with very early hieroglyphs and a faience baboon, both of which are over 5,000 years old.
Complementing these fascinating pieces from National Museums Scotland’s collections will be a selection of objects from Perth Museum and Art Gallery’s collections.
On 8 February 2019, three new galleries opened at the National Museum of Scotland. Dedicated to Ancient Egypt, East Asia and the Art of Ceramics, they are the final part of a 15-year journey, restoring one of the UK’s finest Victorian buildings, revealing remarkable treasures and creating inspiring learning experiences to engage more visitors.
The nationwide programme of activity aims to develop our understanding of the Ancient Egypt and East Asia collections held in local museums.
An innovative National Programme, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and led by National Museums Scotland, extends the reach and impact of the Ancient Egypt Rediscovered and Exploring East Asia galleries beyond the National Museum’s walls to engage other museums and new audiences across Scotland.
The nationwide programme of activity aims to develop our understanding of the Ancient Egypt and East Asia collections held in local museums. National Museums Scotland is collaborating with museums around Scotland to explore their collections, share new information about them and provide new learning and digital resources for their visitors.
Discovering Ancient Egypt is on display at Perth Museum and Art Gallery from Saturday, 25 January until Sunday, 3 May 2020.
Gillian Findlay, Interim Head of Museums and Collections for Culture Perth and Kinross said:
“All of us at Culture Perth and Kinross are delighted to welcome in the new year with this, our latest exciting collaboration with National Museums Scotland, which we are confident will be of great interest to people of Perthshire, young and old. Not only does the exhibition provide an opportunity to highlight the unique, ancient Egyptian material we care for as part of Perth’s Recognised Collections of National Significance, but it supports a wide-ranging schools and public events programme as well. I am particularly grateful to National Museums Scotland for this element, as it enables young people who have experienced homelessness and other barriers to education and employment, and young people with autism, to enjoy the heritage in ways that suit them.”
All of us at Culture Perth and Kinross are delighted to welcome in the new year with this exhibition.
Jilly Burns, Head of National and International Partnerships at National Museums Scotland said:
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to collaborate with Perth Museum and Art Gallery to reveal new stories about objects connected to ancient Egypt. This remarkable culture has enthralled museum visitors for generations and our National Programme is allowing us to research objects in local collections and enhance our understanding of collections held in museums around Scotland. This fantastic partnership is also allowing us to share skills and provide new national learning and digital resources across Scotland.”
Caroline Clark, Director of Scotland, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:
“Not everyone is able to travel to Edinburgh to visit the National Museum’s wonderful new galleries. However, thanks to funding raised by National Lottery players, the people of Perth will be able to see a selection of its delights in their home town. Scotland has always had a fascination for ancient Egypt and we are delighted that this touring exhibition will give people across the country the opportunity to share that fascination.”
Visit our Perth Museum and Art Gallery directory listing to learn more.
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