International Women’s Day

It is International Women’s day! To celebrate, we are taking a closer look at just a few of the historical women represented within the Garstang collections.


Living around 5000 years ago, at the very beginnings of written history, Neith-hotep was the first woman in the world to have her name written down (that we currently know of). Neith-hotep, who was active during the Proto-dynastic Period, is generally thought to be the consort of King Narmer and mother of King Hor-Aha – both men have been credited as the first king of a unified Egypt. The history is probably far more complex, but it is clear that Neith-hotep was a member of the ruling family during the period of Egyptian unification.

Here at the Garstang Museum of Archaeology we have been carrying out Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) analysis on clay seals from Neith-hotep’s impressive tomb at Naqada. This photographic technique revealed that Neith-hotep’s name is sometimes written in a serekh, a symbol only used to represent an independent ruler – in other words the king or queen regnant, never a queen consort. Very little is known about the political structures of the proto-kingdoms in Egypt before the unification. Her name in serekh form suggests that Neith-hotep was a ruler of one of these states, and that her union with King Narmer was a major factor in the very creation of ancient Egypt as a nation!


Young girls looking at objects from the tomb of the first woman in recorded history.


Hatshepsut was the step-mother to Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose III, who was only a child when he ascended the throne. While acting as co-regent for her young step-son, Hatshepsut declared herself Pharaoh too. She capitalised on the reputation of her illustrious father (Thutmose I) and even claimed to be the daughter of the god Amun, granting her sovereignty and making her the primary ruler of Egypt.

During her reign she led a colossal building program across Egypt that was equal to anything her male predecessors had achieved. Her spectacular temple at Deir el-Bahri is a testimony to her power, decoration on its walls document her diplomatic policies, which stretched from Cyprus to Nubia, to the mysterious Land of Punt. Egypt prospered under her reign, trade blossomed, temples were restored and peace was maintained across the unified country.

After Hatshepsut’s death, her successors campaigned to remove her from history. Her name was erased from monuments, replaced with names of later (male) Pharaohs, and she was omitted from supposedly complete lists of kings going back to Narmer and the foundation of Egypt itself. Despite all these attempts to blot Hatshepsut out of history, she persisted.

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Limestone depiction of Hathor, bearing Hatshepsut’s rebus in her headdress.

The Candaces of Meroë

Meroë was a capital city of the ancient African Kingdom of Kush (modern-day Sudan). Candace (Kandake, kendake, or kentake) was the title given to powerful female rulers and is sometimes taken to mean “royal woman”. There is evidence that the Candances of Meroë enjoyed power equal to, and sometimes greater than, their male counterparts, with some Candances ruling entirely under their own authority. The earliest recorded Candace is Shanakdakhete (c. 177-155 BC), who is said to have ruled without a king. Bas reliefs of Shanakdakhete (dated circa 170 BC) show her dressed as a warrior, wielding a spear. Candace Amanirenas is one of the best known Kushite queens, famous for leading an army against the Roman Empire in a five-year war (27-22 BC). Here at the Garstang Museum we have a Candance depicted in relief on a sandstone block discovered at the ancient city of Meroë.

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Candance depicted on a sandstone block.

Flavia Julia Helena Augusta

Flavia Julia Helena Augusta (also known as St Helen, patron saint of archaeology) was Empress of a world usually associated with masculinity and patriarchy; the Eastern Roman Empire. Born to humble beginnings, not much is known of her early life, although there is some evidence to suggest she was from the province of Bithynia in Asia Minor. She rose to prominence within the Roman court, eventually marrying Constantius who became Emperor in 293 AD. As Helena was considered too low-status to be Empress, Constantius divorced her before he assumed leadership, and Helena was removed from the imperial court. Their marriage did produce one son – the boy who would become Constantine the Great.

When Constantine became Emperor Helena was welcomed back to the imperial court. She was granted the title Augusta in 325, making her Empress and an ‘honoured woman’ within the imperial family. As an ‘honoured woman’ she could issue her own coinage, wear imperial regalia, and even rule her own court. It was around this time, it seems, that she converted to Christianity, travelled extensively, undertaking pilgrimages and (allegedly) finding lost relics associated with her new religion – including fragments of the true cross. Her piety greatly influenced Constantine’s conversion to Christianity and his decision to make Christianity the official religion of the Eastern and Western Roman Empires, changing the religious landscape of the world.

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Coin depicting Flavia Julia Helena Augusta.

Marie Garstang

Marie Garstang was the wife and colleague of John Garstang (first professor at the Liverpool Institute of Archaeology and the museum’s namesake). Although we know Marie Garstang worked with her husband in Egypt, Sudan and the Near East, it is hard to determine the extent of Marie’s contributions to her husband’s work. In a time when it was very difficult for women to gain independent academic recognition, her working relationship with John may have been one of mutual intellectual collaboration, interest and respect. She is acknowledged in introductions to John Garstang’s publications and in his 1934 Jericho field report John recognised Marie for her expertise in ceramic conservation.

The museum’s extensive collection of glass plate negatives gives a far greater insight into Marie Garstang’s working life, photographs show her excavating at Meroë, exploring Sundanese pyramids, and pouring over fragments of ancient pottery. Beyond archaeology, Marie served as a nurse with the Voluntary Aid Detachment during the first-world-war. At a time when women were demanding the renegotiation of their place in society, Marie Garstang followed in the footsteps of her ancient predecessors, proving that a skirt won’t slow you down.

(Find more about Marie Garstang, and other women in archaeology, at Trowel Blazers:


Excavating at Meroë.


Exploring Sundanese pyramids.


Examining ancient pottery fragments.

By Gina Criscenzo Laycock, Lauren Darsham, Eleanor de Spretter, Sarah McBride, Juliet Spedding, Ceri Stanford & Julia Thorne.


The Tale of Osiris and Isis

The Osiris Myth is one of the most important surviving pieces of Egyptian mythology. The tale is incredibly old, with the earliest surviving attestation found in the Pyramid Texts, that were inscribed on the walls of royal pyramids during the 5th Dynasty (c. 24th Century BCE). The myth was retold throughout Egyptian history, with elements recurring in the Middle Kingdom Coffin Texts and in New Kingdom Books of the Dead. The most complete (and most famous) telling of the myth comes from Plutarch’s De Iside et Osiride. The long history of transmission of the myth is evident in the Graeco-Roman influences present in Plutarch’s version of the story.

From King of the Living to Lord of the Dead

According to the myth, Osiris was the first Pharaoh, and the one who united Egypt. He was directly related to the gods, with a bloodline stretching back to the creator god, Atum. Osiris ruled Egypt alongside the goddess Isis, his wife, and their rule ensured that balance and justice (ma’at) were maintained. However, their brother Set – a deity associated with chaos (isfet) – conspired against Osiris; he murdered him, dismembered his body, and scattered the pieces across Egypt.

While Set sat upon the throne of Egypt, Isis travelled across the land with her sister, Nephthys, to find the pieces of her deceased husband. They travelled to each and every region (nome) of Egypt, finding all the pieces of Osiris to make the dead Pharaoh whole again. Together with Thoth (an ibis-headed god associated with hidden knowledge) and Anubis (a jackal-headed god associated with embalming and funerary traditions), Isis and Nephthys reassembled the body of Osiris and used their magic to bring him back to life.


This faience pectoral shows the gods Osiris, Isis and Horus represented together. Between Osiris and Horus, there is a representation of the djed pillar, an Egyptian icon symbolising stability. (E. 192)

With Osiris restored to the realm of the living, Isis was able to conceive a child with him who would go on to become the true king of Egypt. However, Osiris was unable to remain in the land of the living, and after conceiving their child he went into the duat – the Egyptian underworld – to spend eternity as lord of the dead. This isn’t the end of the story, however; Isis and Osiris’ child, Horus, would grow up to challenge Set and take his place as rightful pharaoh of Egypt.

The Importance of the Osiris Myth


This 26th Dynasty bronze statuette of Osiris was graciously lent to the Garstang Museum by the Liverpool World Museum. (M11410)

The Osiris myth illustrates a number of important tenets in Egyptian mythology and religion. Osiris can be seen to reflect the Egyptian expectations of the afterlife – their understanding that even after death, life continued in the world below. Osiris was a victim of betrayal and fratricide, but through the proper application of funerary ritual he was restored and became one of the justified dead (ma’at kheru). This illustrates the central Egyptian religious belief that, providing the proper preparations were made before burial, the deceased would be able to live on in an idealised afterlife.

The myth also relates a key philosophical component of ancient Egyptian belief – the ongoing battle between the forces of balance and righteousness and the forces of chaos. Osiris and Horus represent ma’at, the ‘correct way’, and thus they are the true kings of Egypt. Set, however, is an agent of isfet, and so he is seen as a usurper who has no right to take the throne. The belief that the world was in constant conflict between ma’at and isfet is an important part of the way that ancient Egyptians conceptualised the cosmological state of reality.

Christopher Bebbington.



A day in the life of a Garstang volunteer

Lucy Timbrell: Collections Volunteer at the Garstang Museum of Archaeology and Evolutionary Anthropology student at the University of Liverpool.

When I first started my placement at the Garstang Museum I had no idea what to expect. The museum’s collection is filled with objects from Ancient Egypt, the Mediterranean, and the Ancient Near East. These are cultures that, until now, I have not had the chance to study.

When thinking of museums, people picture the exhibitions and artefacts, but there is a lot more that goes on behind the scenes. I had a lot of learning to do and I was keen to find out more.

Based at the University of Liverpool, the Garstang Museum is a teaching museum, and our collections are used to teach a variety of classes. A big part of a volunteer’s job is to locate and move objects that are being used for classes and lectures, or examined by academics. Volunteers locate objects using a database, before moving them from the stores to the teaching room where they can be easily accessed. This can mean heavy lifting – definitely not my forte – and carefully manoeuvring awkwardly shaped objects around the university.

The Garstang museum has been getting ready for our Book of the Dead exhibition. The exhibition centres on Ancient Egyptian Papyri that describe the journey to the Afterlife and will be opening for Light Night on the 19th May. This has created a lot of opportunities to get involved with. Volunteers have been designing promotional artwork for posters banners and flyers, as well as using social media to invite people to our exhibition, as well as preparing objects for conservation and display.

Other volunteers offer interesting tours of the Garstang Museum, and I was very kindly given a tour myself. Most of the volunteers here are masters and PhD students so they are very knowledgeable!

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Garstang and the variety that each day working in a museum brings.

Lucy Timbrell

Glitz and Glamour at the Garstang

The ancient Egyptians were mad about bling so it is not surprising that we have a vast collection of ancient jewellery at the Garstang Museum of Archaeology .

In Ancient Egypt, women and men wore jewellery as a mark of status and beauty during life and death. The ancient Egyptians desired to ‘go out in style’, much of the ancient Egyptian jewellery that survives today was found in tombs.

A stunning array of colours and materials were chosen specifically for their aesthetic qualities and symbolism. Precious stones such as lapis lazuli, carnelian, turquoise, amethyst and amber were especially prestigious, while cheaper jewellery was made in faience. Silver and gold were also admired. Silver was particularly rare in Egypt, and often more desirable than gold.

Although jewellery was mainly used to ‘show off’, the Ancient Egyptians did weave protective amulets into necklaces, mummy nets and other ornaments. These would have offered the wearer some divine protection in life and death.

In more recent times, at early 20th century excavations, women were not encouraged to dig. Instead ladies would spend time performing administrative tasks, such as labelling and cataloguing finds, as well as reconstructing ancient jewellery. Marie Garstang, who was married to our very own John, spent hours piecing together strings of beads, and many of the pieces we have on display at the museum are the result of her imaginative work.

Find out more at the Garstang Museum of Archaeology, open every Wednesday 10am – 4pm.

Discover more about death in Ancient Egypt at the Book of the Dead exhibition, open until the 13th September 2017.

Natasha Whittaker & Bethany Dale

Death in Ancient Egypt: The Book of the Dead.

The Ancient Egyptians believed that life continued after death, the deceased could live out eternity in the Field of Reeds, a perfect version of Egypt itself.

However, to get to the Field of Reeds, the dead had to make the treacherous journey through the Underworld. The path through the Underworld was blocked by gates and caverns as well as guardians and demons who would set tests that must be passed before the dead were allowed to journey on.

To aid this perilous journey, the Ancient Egyptians wrote “Books of the Afterlife” that contained spells and maps to guide the dead through the Underworld. Examples include the Book of the Dead, the Book of Caverns, and the Book of Gates.

The Ancient Egyptians also hoped that these spells might prevent a person from dying a “second death”, from which there was no return. At the end of their journey, the Dead were judged in the presence of Osiris, god of the Underworld. The deceased would claim that they were not guilty of any crimes, and hoped that their heart would not betray them when weighed.

Anubis would weigh the heart against the feather of Ma’at, representing balance and truth. If the heart was heavier than the feather, it would be devoured by Ammut and the deceased would die a second death.

If you passed you could go on to the Field of Reeds. You could even come forth by day and visit relatives in the Book of the Dead.

This general overview covers a few certain aspects of death in Ancient Egypt. There are millennia to cover and vast array of different beliefs. Learn more, and see if you will pass the test to join the Afterlife, at the Book of the Dead exhibition… If you dare.

Book of the Dead: Passport through the Underworld, 19th May 2017-13th September 2012, Wednesdays 10am – 4pm. Open for Light Night 19th May, 5pm-Late.

Lauren Hill.

Image: Book of the Dead Papyrus depicting Ammut, photographed by Julia Thorne.

Object in Focus: Reclining Figurine (C.515):

This figurine might represent a man reclining at a Greek drinking party, known as a Symposium.  These parties were common throughout the ancient Greek world, and were primarily attended by men.  Women who attended were servants and slaves, they would pour wine for the men, dance and play music. In some ancient literature they are referred to, simply, as “flute players”.

As shown by the statuette, attendees would recline on couches to gorge on wine and food, listen to music, and discuss the affairs of the day.  They also took part in lively drinking games, such as kottabos, where contestants would try to fling the dregs of wine from their drinking cup or kylix at a spot on the wall, a little like a modern darts game.

Some scholars at the University of Liverpool believe this figurine might represent the god Dionysus.  Dionysus was associated with indulgence, wine and music, hence he was closely connected with the symposium.

Most infamously, Dionysus was the protagonist in The Bacchae, a play by Euripides from the 5th Century B.C.  In the play, Dionysus is seeking revenge on his mortal family who, denying that he was the son of Zeus, had cast him out as an infant.  The play culminates with Dionysus’ aunt, Agave, tearing her son’s head off in a mad rage, she believed him to be a mountain lion.  Plays like The Bacchae were perhaps some of the topics of conversation discussed at a symposia.

Whether this figurine is a depiction of a mortal male, or of Dionysus, the association with the symposium is consistent and allows us a small insight into one of the major cultural practices of the ancient Greek world.

John Parker.

The Two-Headed “Donkey” in the Basement (E.6953)

This unusual object was rediscovered during curatorial work in the Garstang Museum stores. The two-headed (or bicephalous) equine figurine, made Two headed horseof terracotta, was excavated by Sir Robert Mond at Thebes.

It was originally thought to be a donkey, the most common equid found in Ancient Egypt.  However, a closer look shows the animals are wearing blinkers and bits, this was unusual for Ancient Egyptian donkeys and it is now thought that this figurine represents two horses. Horses were not introduced to Egypt until the New Kingdom, meaning this object is probably not more than 3500 years old.

Horses were enormously high status animals in Ancient Egypt, when they were first introduced they were very rare and probably only used for military purposes. Horses were so important that only the highest ranking officials were appointed as stable overseers, these officials went on to hold other chief posts, such as viceroy of Kush.

Bicephalous animals are unusual in Egyptian art, it may be that the artist has styled two horses together for convenience. The horse equipment, and a break to the rear of the object, suggest that these horses were hitched to a chariot. This is consistent with contemporary Egyptian art, pairs of horses pulling chariots are often shown on temple walls. Similar objects have been found elsewhere in Egypt, examples include:

  • A Dynasty 18 terracotta horse’s head from Amarna (BM EA 26535)
  • 1st Century BCE example (80.202.26), which is very similar to E.6953. This indicates that this style of object was in some way popular from the New Kingdom to the Roman Period.
  • A collection of horse figurines from Late Period Medinet Habu.
  • Graeco-Roman examples.

Comparable objects have been found in the ancient Near East, at Tell es-Sweyhat very early examples of terracotta horses dated from around 2300BC.  Groups of terracotta horses have been discovered at temples, dedicated to warrior gods, across the Near East, indicating they might have had a votive role. These figures have also been found in Iron Age Israelite houses, and there are examples of glazed terracotta figurines from Susa.  Likewise, examples from Ancient Greece and Cyprus are similar to the Garstang Museum’s pair of horses.

These cultures intermingled, trading with one another and copying ideas and objects, like this pair of horses. This small, thought provoking, figurine is representative of a valuable and powerful military asset in Ancient Egypt, but also indicates connections and shared ideas between ancient cultures.

Lauren Hill

Object in Focus: A Terracotta Figurine of the Goddess Nike (C.531)


Terracotta statuette of the goddess Nike (C.531)

This terracotta figurine is of the Greek goddess Nike (C.531). It dates to the Hellenistic period (2nd – 1st century BC) and comes from Apulia in Italy.

During the Hellenistic Period (c. 323-31 BC), winged statues of figures like this one of Nike, the personification of Victory, or of Eros, personification of love, became increasingly popular.

These figurines, typically made of terracotta, were mainly deposited in tombs, most often


Terracotta figure of Nike (C.531)

those belong to women and children. They were also often placed in sanctuaries, where they were dedicated as votive offerings, expressing the desire of visitors to communicate with and show devotion to the gods.

By the 8th century BC, the city-states of Greece had colonised much of Apulia (modern Puglia) in south-eastern Italy. In 706 BC, the Spartans founded the city of Tarentum (modern Tarento), one of the most prominent cities in the region. With their easy access to the Mediterranean, fertile hinterland, and quality craftsmanship, many of these colonies flourished.

This figurine may have been manufactured in Tarentum, as the motif of the winged Victory was a popular one in this area. Beyond this, however, its provenance is largely unknown, but it is unlikely to have come into the Museum’s collections from John Garstang’s excavations, as is the case for many of the Egyptian objects in the collection.


Wing and wing-tip from C.531

The figurine is in good overall condition. The left wing was reattached by restorers, but the tip was not. The right wing is detached from the object, and the tip is missing. Based on the marks of repair at the figurine’s neck, the head was likely also restored or reattached. The base also shows signs of restoration. The base of the statue is hollow, and there is a circular whole at the back of the object, between the wings. The figure’s clothing also has residues of green, red, yellow, and white pigment. Coloured glazes or slips were used to decorate terracotta in this way until the 5th century BC.

From the Archives: John Garstang at Alawniyeh , Beit Khallaf, and El Mahasna, 1900-1901

One of the most important collections in the Museum consists of the photographs from the excavations of John Garstang. Some of these have recently been catalogued and digitized as part of the ‘Ancient Egypt in Focus: The photographic Archives of John Garstang’ project, which is now available online.


Map showing approximate location of sites surveyed by Garstang in 1900-1901. © 2016 Google Maps, ORION-ME

Dish from grave L209, Alawniyeh

Small, four-legged dish discovered in grave L209 at Alawniyeh. The white line decoration on the interior depict a human figure and animals. (JG/F/2/1)

The earliest photographs in the collection come from Garstang’s excavations in 1900-1901, between the villages of Alawniyeh and Beit Khallaf, north of Abydos. Unfortunately, many of the original negatives from these excavations have been lost,including images of the tomb superstructures at Beit Khallaf.

Only two photographs of objects from burial L209 at Alawniyeh survive in our collection: a four-legged dish in Naqada II style, and a selection of unusual clay model arrowheads, and human figures.

Clay objects from tomb L209, Alawniyeh

Nine clay objects discovered at grave L209 at Alawniyeh, thought to be models of flint tools and human figures. (JG/F/2/3)


Limestone offering table with inscription found in tomb M366 at El Mahasna (JG/F/3/12), now in the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium (E.0924).

The survey found a cemetery dating from the Early Dynastic period to the 11th Dynasty, south of the village of Mahasna. Garstang believed the majority of the burials to date from the Old Kingdom onward, though in 1908, the Egypt Exploration Fund excavated a predynastic cemetery to the west of the village. Garstang’s photographs only depict the more attractive or unusual objects discovered and the larger grave deposits.


Stoneware vessels, an alabaster head rest, and a copper mirror discovered in tomb M107 at El Mahasna (JG/F/3/7). The deposit was discovered in a bricked up chamber at the bottom of a burial shaft, and were taken for display in the Cairo Museum.

Much of the cemetery covered an earlier prehistoric settlement at the site. Although Garstang found little indication of dwellings, he discovered several pot kilns, including one with a half-baked pot still inside.


Close-up of a kiln discovered at site M S, showing a half-baked pot supported by fire bricks (JG/F/4/3).


Vessel in the shape of a frog, discovered at site M S near El Mahasna (JG/F/4/4).


Garstang also investigated the large, mud-brick structure near the village of Beit Khallaf, as part of the same work season. This structure had been thought to be an Old Kingdom fortress.

Garstang's published plan and section of tomb K1 (Mahasna and Bet Khallaf, 1903: pl. VIII).

Garstang’s published plan and section of tomb K1 (Mahasna and Bet Khallaf, 1903: pl. VIII).

Excavation revealed it was in fact a previously unknown mastaba tomb, which Garstang called K1. The burial shaft was found 25 metres below the surface, at the bottom of a stairway covered with alabaster vessels. This had been blocked by six massive stones lowered through shafts at the top of the tomb.

In addition to the alabaster vessels, Garstang found copper implements, stoneware vessels, and flint tools. Many of the alabaster vessels had mud seals bearing royal names of the 3rd Dynasty. Most of these bore the name of Djoser. Garstang believed that K1 was the burial place of Djoser, and not the Step Pyramid at Saqqara, which he thought showed little evidence of having been used as a tomb.

Group of alabaster vessels discovered in tomb K1 at Beit Khallaf (JG/F/1/10)

Group of alabaster vessels discovered in tomb K1 at Beit Khallaf (JG/F/1/10)

Further excavations in this area revealed four smaller mastabas. One of these, which Garstang called K5, was the tomb of prince Nedjemankh. Another (K2) contained seals bearing the name of Sanakht, who may have succeed Djoser. As with K1, Garstang believed this was the burial place of Sanakht.

Garstang argued that there were no remains at Saqqara which had been positively identified as belonging to Djoser. By contrast, K1 was near other royal tombs, and close to the 3rd Dynasty necropolis at Raqaqna. However, today it is more generally believed that the tombs belong to high officials of the 3rd dynasty, and not to the kings themselves.

The sites Garstang worked at in 1900-1901 have not been excavated since. The photographs in our archives provide context to objects now found in Museums around the world. These sites are not well-known outside the academic community. It is our hope that the digitization of the photographs from this expedition will make it more accessible to researchers and the general public alike.

The Mummy Returns!

The Garstang Mummy in his new home

The Garstang Mummy in his new home

Over the past few months we have been busy arranging the move of the ‘Garstang Mummy’ to a new climate controlled display case in the museum. The mummy, which dates to around 1000BC, was brought from Egypt to Liverpool by Professor John Garstang, along with the base of the coffin of an unrelated woman, dating to the much later Roman Period in Egypt.

Moving the Garstang Mummy from his home in Anatomy

Moving the Garstang mummy from his previous location in the University of Liverpool Department of Anatomy

A peaceful afterlife in the Institute of Archaeology was interrupted in 1941, when the Blitz struck Liverpool. Much of Liverpool was destroyed beyond recognition, including parts of the University. A bomb dropped on the Abercromby Square area damaged a number of buildings where the Sydney Jones Library now stands. The artefacts held within the collection of the Institute were dispersed, with some even being kept at the house of Professor Garstang. Our mummy was evacuated to the Department of Anatomy.

However, he was in safe hands. After the war, the Department of Anatomy was at the forefront of the scientific examination of mummified remains. In 1968 Professor Ronald Harrison performed the first x-ray of the mummy of King Tutankhamun. Professor Harrison and his then post-doctoral student, Dr Bob Connolly, went on to examine a great number of mummies.

All wrapped up and ready to move. The blue cover is designed for patients in a CT scanner (keeping them completely still).

All wrapped up and ready to move. The blue cover is designed to keep patients in a CT scanner completely still, and allowed us to minimise the risk of any damage occurring when we transported the mummy across the university campus.

While investigating the mummy of Tutankhamun, the Garstang mummy was used for trials of new techniques, before they were performed on the royal body. Thanks to the work of the Department of Anatomy we know a lot about our mummy. He was in his late 20’s when he died, though the cause of death is unknown. He also lived well, and was likely a member of the elite section of society – this is reflected in the good condition of his teeth: often the non-elite of ancient Egypt had teeth in poor condition due to a high quantity of sand in their bread, which wore tooth enamel down over time.

The Curator Gina and Assistant Curator Dan ready to move the Garstang Mummy into his new case.

Curator Gina Criscenzo-Laycock and Curatorial Assistant Dan Potter, ready to move the Garstang mummy into his new case.

Following the Blitz, the Garstang mummy spent the next 74 years in the Department of anatomy. He was on display within their departmental museum for a short time. However, with the redevelopment of the Garstang Museum in 2014 it was agreed that he would return to the museum, to be housed in the Egyptian funerary gallery. A grant was secured to purchase a custom-made climate controlled display case, thanks to the generosity of the Friends of the University of Liverpool.

Making the final adjustments

Making the final adjustments

The gallery in the Garstang Museum in which the mummy now resides contains a wide range of funerary equipment from ancient Egypt, much of it of a type that our individual would originally have been buried with. In reuniting him with this material, we not only 20150806_130558give our visitors an understanding of the practical requirements of an ancient Egyptian in order for them to reach their afterlife, but we honour the beliefs of this particular individual, by providing him with the tools that he would have considered necessary in order to have the eternal existence he wished for.

Dr Bob Connolly reunited with the Garstang Mummy. we have Bob to thank for much of the scientific information we have about the Garstang Mummy

Dr Bob Connolly reunited with the Garstang mummy. We have Bob to thank for much of the scientific information we have about the mummy


We would also like to thank National Museums Liverpool, Victoria Gallery and Museum and the Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease, for all their help in bringing the Garstang mummy home.



LightNight 2015 at the Garstang Museum


Curatorial Assistant Dan Potter explaining the history of the Garstang Mummy