Petrie Museum Unofficial Page

Petrie Museum Unofficial Page This page celebrates a great museum - the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL, and the work of the Friends of the Petrie Museum (PMF) to promote the Museum, organise lectures and events, and raise funds for conservation of objects in the museum.
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Random Objects 45 – UC13405, Old Kingdom vessel from Dakhleh Oasis, presented by a Long Range Desert Group veteranA coup...
14/06/2021

Random Objects 45 – UC13405, Old Kingdom vessel from Dakhleh Oasis, presented by a Long Range Desert Group veteran

A couple of days late (sorry!) but hopefully better late than never.
This may not look like a particularly interesting item on its own, but it is a typical example of an object that is more than the sum of its rather meagre parts. It represents a side of Old Kingdom Egypt that is not much discussed – the colonization of the Western Desert oasis of Dakhleh. Dakhleh is one of a semi-circle of oases in the desert to the west of the Nile that still provide homes to a small modern population. It is about 80km long and up to 25km wide. Dakhleh Oasis today is an agricultural community, based on wheat, barley and rice, the soil watered by irrigation fed by wells and natural springs that tap the Nubian aquifer that lies beneath. Sheep and goats are also usually kept.

Although firmly within Egypt’s borders today, it was a liminal zone between Egypt and Libya when Egyptian civilization was concentrated along the Nile. Dakhleh was occupied throughout prehistory, often surrounded by savannah-like conditions, and when the climate finally dried to the point where most desert and oasis sites were abandoned, occupation in Dakhleh continued. The Sheikh Muftah groups were nomadic sheep herders, with an impoverished material culture, whose skeletal remains suggest poor access to nutrition. These small groups were still based in the oasis when the kings and of the Old Kingdom first established along the Nile, and when the reach of the Old Kingdom administration was extended west into Dakhleh.

Dakhleh Oasis is 300 miles, as the crow flies, from the Nile to Asiut, across hyper-arid desert and tall sand dunes that march in parallel lines from south to north. A longer but safer route is to head east to Kharga Oasis and there to the Nile at what is now Luxor. The Old Kingdom community is best represented at ‘Ain Asil, at Balat in the eastern part of Dakhleh, under excavation by the French Institute (IFAO) since the late 1970s. The large site, consisting of a palace, surrounding buildings and fortifications is accompanied by a mastaba cemetery in which local governors were buried, at Qila ed-Dabba. Its oldest phase (of six Old Kingdom and one First Intermediate phases) probably dates to the late Fifth /early Sixth Dynasty, although pottery elsewhere in the oasis suggests that there was some sort of presence from the Third-Fourth Dynasties. By the end of the Sixth Dynasty the oasis had been completely colonized. ‘Ain Asil was effectively the capital of Dakhleh during the Old Kingdom.

Another settlement site dating to the period is ‘Ain el-Gezareen (Spring of the Butchers), 42km northwest of ‘Ain Asil, which was marked by a concentration of potsherds, chipped stone tools and fragments of animal bone and has been excavated by the Dakhleh Oasis Project. The Dakhleh Oasis Project suggest that it was a defended community that overflowed beyond the walls after its initial establishment, secondary to but with connections to ‘Ain Asil. Towers were incorporated into the external defensive walls.

The pottery consists of a wide range of locally-made forms, including large sizeable storage jars, over 1000 bread moulds, many excavated from a bakery found in 1997 at ‘Ain el-Gazzareen, and shallow red polished carinated bowls, known as Meidum bowls (the latter imported from the Nile valley, and a minority of the overall assemblage). Most of the locally-made forms are imitations of Nile Valley Old Kingdom types.

As well as these centres of population, there is considerable evidence in the rest of the oasis for immigration from the Nile valley too, although the reasons for this remain uncertain. Other settlements and cemeteries have been found and police outposts have been discovered on rocky hilltops and outcrops, some of which have been engraved with petroglyphs.

The economy of the oasis was, as it is today, agricultural. Analysis of the plant remains from the bakery area at ‘Ain el Gazzareen indicates that barley was dominant, with emmer wheat secondary (the reverse of the situation usually found on the Nile, possibly because barley is more drought tolerant). Querns, used for processing grain, were found in high quantities. Lentil, another ancient Egyptian staple, was found at other areas of the site. Animal remains include a mixture of domestic and wild species, including cattle, goat, pig, Dorcas gazelle, oryx, Barbary sheep, duck, goose, hare, pigeon and ostrich. Husbandry of wild animals as well as domesticated species was apparently practised, as happened elsewhere in Old Kingdom Egypt. A study published in 2012 concluded that the main sources of protein were cattle and goats followed by Dorcas gazelle and Cape hare.

Evidence for mixed Old Kingdom style and Sheikh Muftah ceramics at some sites suggest that the incursion of Nile residents was not necessarily a reason for conflict. It is entirely possible that the introduction of new economic ideas created employment and other opportunities for the indigenous inhabitants.

There’s another side to the story, which is how this vessel was acquired. It was collected in 1935 by W.B. Kennedy Shaw who presented it to the museum in 1958. It is one of the few oasis pieces in the Petrie collection, and the reason that Bill Kennedy Shaw, (formerly of the Sudan Forestry Service, and Director of the Desert Survey Department), was in possession of it is that he was one of a loose team of people who used Ford Model-T cars and biplanes in the exploration into the Western Desert in the inter-war years, extending operations as far as the Libyan border. One of his most remarkable expeditions was in 1927, when he and Douglas Newbold made a 1000 mile camel trek from Dakhleh to Wadi Halfa, during which they mapped the area and discovered several archaeological sites. Shaw’s Cave, a rock art site, was named for him. The results of most of their expeditions were reported by the Geographical Society, and are characterized by a mixture of empirical reporting and a sense of adventure. Kennedy Shaw went on to be a key member of the Long Range Desert Group in the Second World War, recruited by LRDG founder Ralph Bagnold. Kennedy Shaw wrote about his experiences in 1945 in his book “Long Range Desert Group: The Story of its Work in Libya 1940-1943.”

Details from the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology database: Pot, hand made (?), thick ware, full of rounded sand grains; plum coloured slip, one side removed by wind erosion.
Height: 21.5 ins
Diameter: 15.5 ins
Neck internal diameter: 3.5 ins

References:

Hope, C. and Pettman, A.J. 2012. Egyptian Connections with Dakhleh Oasis in the Early Dynastic Period to Dynasty IV: new data from Mut al-Kharab. In (eds.) Dakhleh Oasis Project. Monograph 15. The Oasis Papers 6. Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference of the Dakhleh Oasis Project. Oxbow Books, p.147-166.

Kaper, O.E. and Willems, H. 2002. Policing the Desert: Old Kingdom Activity around the Dakhleh Oasis. In (ed.) Friedman, R. Egypt and Nubia: Gifts of the Desert. British Museum Press, p.79-93.

Kennedy Shaw, W.B. 1945. Long Range Desert Group. The Story of its Work in Libya 1940-1943. Collins.

Mills, A.J. 2002. Another Old Kingdom Site in the Dakhleh Oasis. In (ed.) Friedman, R. Egypt and Nubia: Gifts of the Desert. British Museum Press, p.74-78.

Mills, A.J. 2012. An Old Kingdom Trading Post at ‘Ain el-Gazzareen, Dakhleh Oasis. In (eds.) Bagnall, R.S., Davoli, P. and Hope, C. Dakhleh Oasis Project. Monograph 15. The Oasis Papers 6. Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference of the Dakhleh Oasis Project. Oxbow Books, p.147-166.

Pantalacci, L. and Lesur-Gebremariam, J. 2009. Wild animals in downtown: Evidence from Balat, Dakhlah Oasis (end of the 3rd millennium BC). In (ed.) Riemer,H., Forster, F., Herb, M. and Pollath, N. Desert animals in the eastern Sahara: Status, economic significance and cultural reflection on antiquity. Heinrich-Barth Institut, p.245-262

Pettman, A.J., Thanheiser, U. and Churcher, C.S. 2012. Provisions for the Journey: food Production in the ‘bakery’ area of ‘Ain el-Gazzareen, Dakhleh Oasis. In (eds.) Bagnall, R.S., Davoli, P. and Hope, C. Dakhleh Oasis Project. Monograph 15. The Oasis Papers 6. Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference of the Dakhleh Oasis Project. Oxbow Books, p.209-227.

I like the sound of this, but then I'm a big fan of global musical influences
14/06/2021

I like the sound of this, but then I'm a big fan of global musical influences

Andrew List, Berklee College of Music, reached out to the OI for permission to use translations from the Book of the Dead by OI scholar Thomas Allen George in a composition that is influenced by his own recent travels and a lifelong fascination with this ancient religion.

Join us as we listen to selections from List's works, The Temple of Dendera and From the Heart of Ra, while exploring how the ancient Egyptian world continues to influence his compositions: https://youtu.be/aP_TkAuD_JI

This podcast continues our Contemporary Artist/Ancient Voices series, a set of conversations with artists who draw inspiration from the ancient Middle East.

Chris Naunton talks about his latest book at York Festival of Ideas 19th June. Free but need to register. Details below.
14/06/2021
Egyptologists' Notebooks

Chris Naunton talks about his latest book at York Festival of Ideas 19th June. Free but need to register. Details below.

Join Egyptologist Chris Naunton for a gorgeous presentation of intimate diaries and journals that capture the excitement of the golden age of Nile exploration.

Two new tombs are presented on Osirisnet, •The tomb TA 14 in Amarna:https://www.osirisnet.net/tombes/amarna/may14/e_may1...
11/06/2021

Two new tombs are presented on Osirisnet,
•The tomb TA 14 in Amarna:
https://www.osirisnet.net/tombes/amarna/may14/e_may14_01.htm
•The tomb of Maya and Meryt in Saqqara:
https://www.osirisnet.net/tombes/saqqara_nouvel_empire/maya_meryt/e_maya_meryt_01.htm
(photo is from tomb Maya and Merit

thank you Thierry Benderitter

Two new tombs are presented on Osirisnet,
•The tomb TA 14 in Amarna:
https://www.osirisnet.net/tombes/amarna/may14/e_may14_01.htm
•The tomb of Maya and Meryt in Saqqara:
https://www.osirisnet.net/tombes/saqqara_nouvel_empire/maya_meryt/e_maya_meryt_01.htm
(photo is from tomb Maya and Merit

thank you Thierry Benderitter

Have a good weekend! This one courtesy of Andie Byrnes.
11/06/2021

Have a good weekend! This one courtesy of Andie Byrnes.

Have a good weekend! This one courtesy of Andie Byrnes.

Uraeus pendants During the Middle Kingdom, the period from which these objects date, uraei are found in funerary context...
08/06/2021

Uraeus pendants
During the Middle Kingdom, the period from which these objects date, uraei are found in funerary contexts, seen most often in object friezes on rectangular coffins or gracing the foreheads of masks and anthropoid coffins.
These pendants are delicate and conventionalized representations of the royal serpent, rising from its coils with hood outspread. The uraeus represented the tutelary goddess of Lower Egypt, Wadjet; she and her Upper Egyptian vulture counterpart , Nekhbet, were often shown atop baskets to symbolize the "Two Ladies" that protected a united Egypt. I've found a handful of similar pieces (see details in picture captions):
Petrie Museum, London (UC 25968). Provenance not indicated
MFA, Boston (21.973. Dynasty 11. From Naga-el-Deir N453 b, neck of body.
BM, London (EA34266). Provenance uncertain
MET, New York (26.8.81). Provenance uncertain
LOUVRE, Paris (E 22858). Flanked by 2 vultures
As you can see, only Boston pendant is provenanced. The pendant was found in an intact burial of a woman wearing a full set of jewellery. Judging from the simplicity of the objects themselves and from the comparative poverty of the burial, the lady can hardly have been of high rank, and this very fact lends to the group a certain importance. For while the magnificent jewellery buried with the queens and princesses of the Middle Kingdom is widely and justly renowned, the ornaments worn and prized by humbler ladies of that time are little known, scattered as anonymous strings of beads and groups of amulets about the museums of the world. Among the lady's most prized possessions however, must have been the silver uraeus which likewise lay at her throat.
Does anybody have more information on these pendants?
(VM)

Happy Birthday Hilda Petrie (Urlin) (8 June 1871-23 November 1956). This is my favorit photo of her , in Abydos. Photo c...
08/06/2021

Happy Birthday Hilda Petrie (Urlin) (8 June 1871-23 November 1956). This is my favorit photo of her , in Abydos. Photo courtesy Egypt Exploration Society

Happy Birthday Hilda Petrie (Urlin) (8 June 1871-23 November 1956). This is my favorit photo of her , in Abydos. Photo courtesy Egypt Exploration Society

You've seen this stela already - a recent find. However, I'm posting it again accompanied by a preliminary translation o...
06/06/2021

You've seen this stela already - a recent find. However, I'm posting it again accompanied by a preliminary translation of the text by our old friend Joseph Emmett Clayton. I thought too many people would miss it just as a comment to our earlier post, and I think it's important to see Joe's discussion of it, especially the identification of it as a hunting stela rather than boundary stela. Fascinating!! Thank you so much, Joe, for sharing this with us.

"Here is a tentative translation of the whole thing. It doesn't look like a boundary stela and definitely isn't a military campaign. It seems that it commemorates a hunting trip to Sile to find a suitable bull's foreleg to placate the goddess of the Pr-wr:
1. [………………………………………………..Titles etc, too unclear from photo……….]
2. showing respect to the pr-wr, proceeding to the tpy-S[?], choosing [the ? bark of ?] raising up the perfection
3. [……………..] she did not rejoice, the goddess. He thought about the Eastern desert and his majesty arrived at Heliopolis [in order to …?....for her]
4. an offering from what belongs to the palace chosen from it. Travelling to choose forelegs belonging to the temple
5. itself. Doing something from its entire estate; offerings of
6. the god, the powers of Heliopolis; all the gods of the palace and the nome. A good road was […………..]
7. His majesty arrived at the Hill of Tjaru and his majesty was in that foreign land enjoying himself
8. shooting the desert game. His majesty commanded the conscripts, the
9. [….?.....] and the infantry to direct the work of the recruits and they did the work of fighting for his majesty and [oversaw] everything
10. while his majesty ordered a chase in order to tame [a?] young bull[s] [……......] his [horse/bull]
11. in order to reckon the bravery of the greatest one among them. He spread out [………….]
12. [….?....] in it. He was the bravest bull, a possessor of strength. The good god had acted so that he did not [……..]
13. [Apries living forever]. His majesty ordered this stela to be set up at the entrance to the Eastern desert in order to see the offering of
14. the appropriate wild bull and their running to the place of offerings that he might cause an offering to be given."

You've seen this stela already - a recent find. However, I'm posting it again accompanied by a preliminary translation of the text by our old friend Joseph Emmett Clayton. I thought too many people would miss it just as a comment to our earlier post, and I think it's important to see Joe's discussion of it, especially the identification of it as a hunting stela rather than boundary stela. Fascinating!! Thank you so much, Joe, for sharing this with us.

"Here is a tentative translation of the whole thing. It doesn't look like a boundary stela and definitely isn't a military campaign. It seems that it commemorates a hunting trip to Sile to find a suitable bull's foreleg to placate the goddess of the Pr-wr:
1. [………………………………………………..Titles etc, too unclear from photo……….]
2. showing respect to the pr-wr, proceeding to the tpy-S[?], choosing [the ? bark of ?] raising up the perfection
3. [……………..] she did not rejoice, the goddess. He thought about the Eastern desert and his majesty arrived at Heliopolis [in order to …?....for her]
4. an offering from what belongs to the palace chosen from it. Travelling to choose forelegs belonging to the temple
5. itself. Doing something from its entire estate; offerings of
6. the god, the powers of Heliopolis; all the gods of the palace and the nome. A good road was […………..]
7. His majesty arrived at the Hill of Tjaru and his majesty was in that foreign land enjoying himself
8. shooting the desert game. His majesty commanded the conscripts, the
9. [….?.....] and the infantry to direct the work of the recruits and they did the work of fighting for his majesty and [oversaw] everything
10. while his majesty ordered a chase in order to tame [a?] young bull[s] [……......] his [horse/bull]
11. in order to reckon the bravery of the greatest one among them. He spread out [………….]
12. [….?....] in it. He was the bravest bull, a possessor of strength. The good god had acted so that he did not [……..]
13. [Apries living forever]. His majesty ordered this stela to be set up at the entrance to the Eastern desert in order to see the offering of
14. the appropriate wild bull and their running to the place of offerings that he might cause an offering to be given."

Address

University College London, Malet Place
London
WC1E 6BT

Nearest Tube Stations: Russell Square, Goodge St, Warren St, Euston, Euston Square Buses: 10, 24, 29,59, 68, 73, 168

General information

Just five minutes from the British Museum! Leave by the Montague Place exit, travel up Malet Street, across Torrington Place by the Waterstones book shop and into Malet Place. A bright red banner hangs above the entrance

Opening Hours

Tuesday 13:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 13:00 - 17:00
Thursday 13:00 - 17:00
Friday 13:00 - 17:00
Saturday 13:00 - 17:00

Telephone

+442076792369

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A museum of over 87,000 ancient Egyptian and Sudanese objects excavated by Flinders Petrie, his students and colleagues, in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

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Comments

hello dear colleagues! please tell me about this buckle, we had a dispute, I believe that the buckle of the era of migration and a friend says that this is a new kingdom ) please share the information
Hi there, can anyone help? I am trying to get a copy of 'Lahun' written by Stephen Quirke, it appears to be out of print. Just wondered if there was an 'on-line' copy? The University of Leicester Library does not have a copy and I'm researching Lahun for an essay. Many thanks. Mary
Can any of my friends help? I've completely lost my webmail now = no link for today. can someone pm it to me please ?
Egyptology world - have you seen this ? Brilliant paper design - and it's FREE!
No jigsaw puzzle today?
(A New Book) A WORLD BENEATH THE SANDS The Golden Age of Egyptology By Toby Wilkinson Publisher: WW Norton (Oct. 20 2020) Hardcover: 512 pages
TODAY - 6pm (UK Time) with Prof. Aidan Dodson My TicketSource ticket shop will close at 5pm (one hour before we go live) so please buy tickets sharpish if you don't want to miss out... https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/theexplorersclub/rediscovering-the-early-dynastic-period-prof-aidan-dodson/2020-11-29/18:00/t-kaojmy?fbclid=IwAR33_yocln0wk0EsCOx3Ln50QYgue3wywkfhO7CpE69V_4t-XqrQcl4C_c8