Book Review – ‘Nefertiti’s Face: The Creation of an Icon’ by Joyce Tyldesley

My prolific colleague Campbell Price at Manchester Museum is at it again! Nice post on Joyce Tyldesley’s new book on Queen Nefertiti. Must add that to my ever growing list of books to read…

Egypt at the Manchester Museum

Joyce Tyldesley’s new book concerns Ancient Egypt’s most well-known poster-girl: Nefertiti, or – more accurately – a painted limestone and plaster bust of her now in the Neues Museum in Berlin. Tyldesley has already written an excellent biography of the lady herself, and uses this opportunity to discuss her most famous representation – and how it skews our entire impression of who she was. The book follows the successful format of the biography of a single object adopted by Laurence Berman, curator at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in his accessible study of the Late Period ‘Boston Green Head’. As a fellow curator, the idea of spending a whole book on a sole museum object is particularly appealing to me.


Now, I must confess personal bias here – Joyce is a friend and University of Manchester colleague, and we have discussed the content of the book extensively. Yet…

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DNA confirms the Two Brothers’ relationship

The Two Brothers are indeed brothers (well, half brothers). Yet another great post by my colleague Campbell Price at the Manchester Museum.

Egypt at the Manchester Museum

Using ‘next generation’ DNA sequencing, scientists at the University of Manchester have confirmed a long-held supposition that the famous ‘Two Brothers’ of the Manchester Museum have a shared mother but different fathers – so are, in fact, half-brothers. This is the first in a series of blog posts presenting the DNA results, and discussing the interpretation and display of the Brothers in Manchester.

The ‘Two Brothers’ are among Manchester Museum’s most famous inhabitants. The complete contents of their joint burial forms one of the Museum’s key Egyptology exhibits, which have been on almost continuous display since they were first entered the Museum in 1908.

_D0V4739, 4740 (3) The Two Brothers’ inner coffins: Khnum-nakht (left) and Nakht-ankh (right), 2011

Central to public (and academic) interest have been the mummified bodies of the men themselves – Khnum-nakht and Nakht-ankh – who lived around the middle of the 12th Dynasty, c. 1900-1800 BC. Their intact…

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Botany in Ancient Egypt – Part 1

Spring is on its way to Raleigh! Little buds are visible on trees and at the Museum we’re preparing for a big Art in Bloom event. Campbell at Manchester reblogged this post this morning and I thought it fitting for the new season about to begin. I’m reblogging from the original post on Herbology Manchester.

I’m so glad spring is almost here!

Herbology Manchester

by Jemma

During my research into the Materia Medica collection (plant, animal and mineral based medicines used in from the 1800s) at the Manchester Museum, I have notice a recurring feature; many of the plants had in fact been used by humans for thousands of years and a large portion of these by the ancient Egyptians!

Plants featured heavily in Egyptian culture: in food, medicine, religion, perfumes and beyond. Early medicinal texts, such as the Ebers Papyrus from 1550 BCE, provide detailed insight into their extensive herbal knowledge. Unfortunately no complete record has yet to be found, but the fragments that have survived show just how knowledgeable these ancient peoples were when it came to plants and their uses. Many of the applications documented are the same used right up until the introduction of modern medicinal practices. Even today, large portions of herbal remedies used as ‘alternative’ medicines feature plants…

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Exodus: Gods and Kings

This morning as I was reading the latest post on the Egypt at Manchester blog, I came across interesting observations on Ridley Scott’s extravagant Egyptian production, Exodus: Gods and Kings. The post looks at the portrayal of ancient Egypt in this particular movie and ‘the myth of authenticity.’

Generally, I watch movies set in ancient Egypt as well as films dealing with museums or archaeology because people inevitably ask me what I think about them.  However, I could not bring myself to actually pay money to see this latest incarnation of the Moses/Exodus story. (Plus, I’m not a fan of Christian Bale to start with… anyway.) As I read Kristin’s post, I felt I hadn’t missed much… and probably avoided giving myself a concussion from banging my head on the wall in Egyptological dismay. My own observations, had I seen the movie, would undoubtedly have been similar to hers.

Exodus: Gods and Kings and the myth of authenticity was posted on David Bordwell’s website on cinema.  Read it clicking on the blue link.

Hatshepsut on the BBC

While reading the latest post on the Manchester Museum’s WordPress blog, I noticed in the comments a mention of a BBC Radio 4 programme about Hatshepsut.  Intrigued, I followed the link and listened to the programme. It was great fun to listen to Campbell and two other colleagues talk about this amazing woman who ruled Egypt during the Eighteenth Dynasty.  Click the link to listen: Hatshepsut BBC Radio 4.

One of my photos of a superb statue of Hatshepsut as pharaoh. She wears wears full male regalia, but she remains so exquisitely delicate and feminine. This incredible work of art is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

One of my photos of a superb statue of Hatshepsut as pharaoh. She wears the regalia of male rulers, but she remains so exquisitely delicate and feminine. This incredible work of art is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Egypt @ Manchester

Conferences are great venues for networking and while reading the (rather impressive) programme for the CIPEG meeting I noticed that some Egyptologists I had been hoping to meet for a while were actually presenting.

One of these scholars is the current curator of Egypt and Sudan at the Manchester Museum, Dr. Campbell Price. I have been following his blog for a while and knew of his recent work and discoveries. Plus, I thoroughly enjoyed visiting the museum a few years ago, before Campbell started working there. The Manchester Museum has always been a hub for mummy studies and they have a fantastic collection of daily life artefacts.  I did indeed meet Campbell during the CIPEG meeting and he’s super nice. (Apparently he reads my blog!)

Today, I’ve added a new page about the Manchester Museum in the Photo Diary and I also invite you to discover what’s going on at the museum from Campbell’s tweets and posts.

The coffins of the 'Two Brothers,' stars of the Manchester Museum!

The coffins of the ‘Two Brothers,’ stars of the Manchester Museum!