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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
26th July 1973 Peter Shaffers Equus, premieres in London
26th July 1973 Underworld actress Kate Beckinsale born in London.
26th July 1966 England beat Portugal 2-1 at Wembley Stadium to reach the World Cup Final.
26th July 1950 Born today: Susan George, London England, actress (Straw Dogs, Mandingo)
26th July 1895 Born today: Jerry Verno, London England, actor (River of Unrest, Sweeney Todd)
26th July 1895 Born today: Robert Graves, London England, writer/poet (I Claudius) [or 6/26]
26th July 1891 Henry James' American, premieres in London
26th July 1842 Born today: Alfred Marshall, London, economist
26th July 1802 Born today: Winthrop Mackworth Praed, London, poet/politician
The Petrie Museum
One of the biggest collections of Ancient Egypt and Africa.
Location: UCL, Malet Place, Bloomsbury
Description: The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology houses over 80,000 objects, making it one of the greatest collections of Egyptian and Sudanese archaeology in the world.
It's FREE and illustrates life in the Nile Valley from prehistory through the time of the pharaohs, the Ptolemaic, Roman and Coptic periods to the Islamic period.
The collection is full of 'firsts' such as these:
- One of the earliest pieces of linen from Egypt (about 5000 BC);
- two lions from the temple of Min at Koptos, from the earliest known examples of monumental sculpture (about 3000 BC);
- a fragment from the first kinglist or calendar (about 2900 BC);
- the earliest example of metal from Egypt, the first worked iron beads, the earliest example of glazing, the earliest 'cylinder seal' in Egypt (about 3500 BC);
- the oldest wills on papyrus paper, the oldest gynaecological papyrus;
- the only veterinary papyrus from ancient Egypt, and the largest architectural drawing, showing a shrine (about 1300 BC).
Costume is another strength of the collection. In addition to the 'oldest dress' there is a unique beadnet dress of a dancer from the Pyramid Age, about 2400 BC, two long sleeved robes of the same date; a suit of armour from the palace of Memphis (awaiting reconstruction), as well as socks and sandals from the Roman period.
The collection contains outstanding works of art from Akhenatens city at Amarna: colourful tiles, carvings and frescoes, and from many other important Egyptian and Nubian settlements and burial sites. The museum houses the worlds largest collection of Roman period mummy portraits (first to second centuries AD).
More than these highlights, though, the collection is uniquely important because so much of it comes from documented excavations. The large typological series of objects (amulets, faience, objects of daily use, tools and weapons, weights and measures, stone vessels, jewellery) provide a unique insight into how people have lived and died in the Nile Valley.