Curator’s Diary, Tuesday 18th January: a time of preparation

I have been back in the office for just over a week now, having spent Christmas and New Year in Egypt leading a  tour for Andante. We started in Alexandria then went along the North African Coast before heading south to the beautiful Siwa  Oasis, and back round in a loop via Bahariya Oasis and the Fayyum to Cairo. It was a fantastic trip, with lost of spectacular desert scenery, and time spent at sites off the beaten track, such as the Oracle Temple at Siwa, and the Ramesside period site of Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham near Mersa Matruh. This image to the right of off-roading in the desert was taken by the tour manager, Gudrun. My images are publicly available on Flickr at:

We are beginning to prepare for the temporary Egypt exhibition that will take place from September to cover the time that the permanent Egypt galleries at the Manchester Museum will be closed for redevelopment. The temporary Egypt gallery will be aimed at schools, but hopefully will be of interest to other visitors, and will focus on early excavation in Egypt and the experience of archaeology at the end of the late 19th Century.

I am also preparing material for a display at the Tutankhamun exhibition at the Museum of Museums, the Trafford Centre, Manchester, for the night of the 27th January, when we are having a fundraising  event for the new Egypt galleries at the Manchester Museum. There will be food and entertainment from 5pm, including book signings by Terry Deary, author of the Horrible Histories series, and  a prize draw. We will take the opportunity to display some of the 18th dynasty Egyptian objects from the collections here at the Museum. There will also be object handling of objects from our collections – come along! More information can be found here:

Conservation is also preparing material for a loan to the Herbert Museum in Coventry, for their exhibition Secret Egypt, opening on the 11th February:

It is end of semester exam period for the students, so I am taking the opportunity to prepare for the course I run this semester, Ancient Egypt in the Late Bronze Age: Individual Experience in a Cosmopolitan State, which should be fun to teach – less about the kings and more about the Egypt you and I may have experienced had we lived there.


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