Yesterday morning there were 15 eager first year Egyptology students waiting outside the museum doors in the pouring rain. They were here for a museum class translating inscriptions in the Ancient Egypt gallery, all done early in the morning before the museum opens to the public. The group had an hour to make their way round the gallery and translate hieroglyphic inscriptions on a varity of artefacts - wooden coffins and stone stela. Some had to crawl on the floor to read the very bottom lines of text on the coffins.
This is their second museum class of the new academic year: last Saturday they came round for a tour of the gallery to get them familiar with the collections. It's always good to meet the new students, especially when they are so keen and excited about putting their first month of language training into action with ancient artefacts in the museum. I look forward to seeing them keep returning over the next 3 years of their degree. In recent years the museum has become more involved with the teaching of Egyptology at the University, building on a relationship that stretches back over 100 years. Much of World Museum's Egyptian collection comes from the university's excavations by Professor John Garstang who was digging in Egypt, Nubia and the Near East in the early part of the 1900s. The university still continues to excavate in Egypt and next week I'll be joining colleagues from the university to assist with the on-going study of a fortress town of Rameses II. I'll be updating the Ancient Egypt gallery Facebook fan page with news from Egypt if you want to find out more.