Friday, 29 July 2011

The end of the week: Flint bracelets and Palestinian pots

The end of the four weeks for our Practicum Egyptology students, a brand new module at Swansea University in conjunction with Kasia Szpakowska (http://www.swan.ac.uk/staff/academic/artshumanities/szpakowskakasia/),
 lecturer in Egyptology. The students come to the Centre and learn a bit about museums and artefacts in the Centre and hone their skills in communicating their knowledge to the public. Today they learnt about key skills in education, the skills the Welsh National Curriculum expects pupils to acquire. The Centre gears school activities to these key skills. These include social skills, numeracy, etc. You can find out more about the activities on our web site at: http://www.swan.ac.uk/egypt/Schools/Educational%20visits.htm

Also answered an enquiry on flint bracelets. These really are amazing things. We have a fragment of one. See: http://www.swansea.ac.uk/egypt/infosheet/AB%2029%20flint%20bracelet.htm
They're so fragile, I think they must have been much more than utilitarian.

Today I also did a few more audit checks on objects (an ongoing, never ending process). This included some pottery from Tell Fara (Beth Pelet), a site in southern Palestine. The site was excavated by Petrie in 1928. We have about 50 pieces from this site. Although we are called the Egypt Centre, and most of our artefacts are from Egypt, we also have artefacts from elsewhere, including Palestine, Greece, Rome and even Britain. All can be accessed via our online searchable catalogue at:
http://www.egyptcentre.org.uk/
Finally, we ended the day with Jayne's baby shower, organised by Wendy. This wasn't Egyptological, or museological, but a good way to end the day

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

While Wendy's away

Wendy Goodridge, the assistant curator, is away collecting our Fayum portrait from Madrid. This is the portrait:

Here is a link to information on the exhibition:
http://www.artdaily.org/index.asp?int_sec=2&int_new=47827

It will be back on display in the Centre very shortly.

This morning has been very hectic. We have a Brownie group from Somerset taking part in group activities with our volunteers. The dummy mummy, as always is extremely popular. (I didn't know Brownies weren't brown anymore! They are dressed in pink. I suppose this shows my age.) As well as the Brownie group, today is the first day of our children's summer workshops. There has been a lot of noise with them practicing their musical instruments. As well as that, with it being the start of the summer holidays, we have lots of 'normal' visitors. As we are a small museum, the place is very noisy and crowded.

But it's good that we are busy. Lots of people enjoying the collections. Let's hope it is the start to a good summer.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Twenty First Dynasty coffin fragment

Repacking 21st Dynasty coffin fragments and finding that some of them fit together.
This one shows Nepythys with the Abydos fetish. From the 19th Dynasty the Abydos fetish was thought to be the reliquary of the head of Osiris.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Philip Green and other volunteers

Today has been a good day for volunteering at the Centre.

Just to let all know, today is Philip Green's last day volunteering at the Egypt Centre. Philip has been with us for one and a half years and has been an absolute godsend. he has not only helped with school parties, moved objects and helped with last year's conference, but he has also been doing tons of administrative work for us. We will be really sad to see him go but he is moving on to better things so we should be pleased for him. He will be working at the House of Commons.

Secondly, this afternoon two visitors came and told Jayne (museum assistant) how fantastic and attentive all our vols. had been. They really are a marvelous group.

This is also a second week for some new 'volunteers'. We have three students from Kasia Szpakowska's class at Swansea University with us. They have been here as part of a module, learning a bit about how museums work. Hopefully it will help them decide whether or not they want to continue with it as a career. Today they have been working on a marketing project, and among other things have set Egypt Centre up with a twitter account. So, thanks to them you can follow our tweets: http://twitter.com/#!/TheEgyptCentre

Egypt Centre, Swansea, Curator's Diary 14.7.2011

This is a first blog and is by way of a test.

W80Today I have been checking artefacts in our store. We try to do regular condition checks on our artefacts. This acts as an audit, so we can make sure we know where everything is, but is also a means of making sure that objects aren't deteriorating. It's also a good opportunity to take photographs of any unphotographed items.

This is one of the items checked today, W80, a clay offering tray.

We have got some more information about it at: http://egypt.swan.ac.uk/index.php/collection/273-w80 Interestingly, Jayne Holly, the Centre's museum assistant knows all about these things as she did a dissertation on them them when a student at Swansea.