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Posts by Ashley Cooke

Visiting Egyptologists and a Returning Cat Mummy

29 November 2013 by Ashley Cooke

Photo of a student with a coffin

Allison Williams with the coffin of Tamutheribes from 664 – 525 BC (no. M14047)

Besides attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors each year our Ancient Egypt Gallery gets visited by scholars from museums and universities around the world who want to study objects in the collection. Last week a more ‘local’ PhD student from the University of Liverpool came to our storeroom to make a close inspection of our coffins. Allison Williams is in the early stage of her career training to be an Egyptologist at Liverpool Read more…

19 tonnes of mummified cats!

7 November 2013 by Ashley Cooke

Researchers from Manchester looking at cat mummies.

Researchers from Manchester looking at cat mummies.

This week colleagues from the Manchester Museum and the University of Manchester came to see the World Museum‘s collection of 95 animal mummies from ancient Egypt. Dr Stephanie Atherton and Dr Lidija McKnight both study mummified faunal remains and are members of the Ancient Egyptian Animal Bio Bank Project, which aims to promote the study of faunal remains by uncovering information relating to these creatures and the ancient culture that preserved them. Read more…

Pharaoh, kiss me quick!

1 November 2013 by Ashley Cooke

Fragment of Akhenaten's face, excavated 1931-32 (about 1352-1336 BC).

Fragment of Akhenaten’s face from the wall of a bridge, excavated 1931-32 (about 1352-1336 BC). Accession no. 1973.1.527g

Yesterday two Egyptologists from the Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection, Berlin, visited us at World Museum to discuss a new collaborative project to bring together objects that are now in collections all around the world. Read more…

Anubis from the ashes!

18 September 2013 by Ashley Cooke

wooden sculpture of a recumbent jackal

Wooden Anubis jackal, accession number M11834, 36 cm long

It’s a new academic year and we’ll soon be welcoming new school groups and university students into the museum to discover more about the ancient Egyptians using our fabulous Egyptology collection. I’ve been working with Adam Gledhill from the education department to refurbish a showcase in our Treasure House Theatre. It’s a part of the museum where visitors can learn more our collections and ancient civilisations through lectures and performances. Read more…

Autumn in the Museum

18 September 2013 by Ashley Cooke

Image of both sides of a copper token.

1796 copper token, accession no. 1968.219.160

Here’s a post from Ben Jones, our Numismatics Documentation Assistant:

“To Keats it was a ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’, but for us so far it has been a season of uncommon warmth followed by freak hailstorms! With the the various harvest festivals fast approaching here is an image of agricultural bounty to celebrate the spirit of Autumn. Read more…

Ancient Egyptian replicas – not the real thing?

20 August 2013 by Ashley Cooke

Replica of a lapis lazuli figure of a woman

Replica of a lapis lazuli figure of a woman

There are over 1300 objects in our Ancient Egypt Gallery but two of these are replicas that we included because the story of their discovery relates to Liverpool archaeologists. Casts of important objects were often made before the genuine object was deposited in a museum Read more…

Baking in ancient Egypt

8 August 2013 by Ashley Cooke

Model of a Kitchen about 2055 BC

Model of a Kitchen from Beni Hasan, about 2055 BC

Chatting about objects with members of the public in our galleries always reminds me of the relevance of our collections in today’s society. This morning I arranged to meet a baker in the Ancient Egypt Gallery to show him some examples of 3500 year old loaves of bread from tombs. David Atherton bakes bread but is also fascinated by the history of baking and wanted to discover more about the origins. Where better to start than the local museum?

Not only do we have the tools used to harvest the wheat and barley but we have grain excavated from a town that was harvested to feed the men building the pyramid of the 12th Dynasty pharaoh, Senusret II, at Lahun – bread and beer were part of the staple diet. They were made in tandem and we have a beautiful 4000 year old carving of a baking, brewing and butchery scene from a tomb at Beni Hasan.  Read more…

An Ancient Egyptian Meadow in Liverpool?

11 July 2013 by Ashley Cooke

Photo of Mould and Pendant

Mould and jewellery pendant from excavations at Tell el Amarna (nos. 56.21.191 & 56.21.355)

The director of World Museum is working hard to create a Wildflower Meadow at the front of the museum. As I walked beside it today my eye was drawn to the bright blue cornflowers (Centaurea cyanus) and the pink to purple corncockle (Agrostemma githago) which reminded me of some of the floral jewellery we have in our Ancient Egypt Gallery. Read more…

Digging in the storerooms

10 July 2013 by Ashley Cooke

Detail of the papyrus showing Amenkhau standing up and holding his hands up in adoration before before the falcon-headed god Ra-Horakhty seated on a throne.

Amenkhau holding his hands up in adoration before before the falcon-headed god Ra-Horakhty seated on a throne.

It’s been over two years since my last fieldwork in Egypt but with a collection of over 16,000 items from ancient Egypt there’s always some digging to be done in the museum storerooms! I was recently digitising all of our Greek papyri from Egypt for Dr Nikolaos Gonis, a papyrologist at University College London. It turns out we have a lot of interesting material from the 5th-6th centuries AD and Nikolaos is going to publish them all as a book. Read more…

Happy Valentine’s Day

14 February 2012 by Ashley Cooke

Amulets of different shapes were placed within the wrappings of ancient Egyptian mummies. From about 1500 BC an amulet in the shape of a heart was a popular addition to protect the mummy from harm. Here are a selection of stone and glazed composition heart amulets from World Museum’s Egyptology collection for you on Valentine’s Day.  

Heart amulets

Heart amulets made from different materials, including haematite and carnelian.