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New collaborative project with the Egyptian Museum Cairo

08 Mar 2019

Melanie Pitkin

The first phase of a project (generously funded by a grant from the Global Challenges Research Fund) to work with curators and conservators at the Egyptian Museum Cairo (EMC) began in February 2019. A small team from the Fitzwilliam Egyptian Coffins Project (Helen Strudwick, Julie Dawson, Melanie Pitkin and Daniel Pett) travelled to Cairo last month (25 February to 2 March, 2019) to deliver a series of lectures to EMC colleagues currently engaged in their own coffins research project. The project arose from Melanie’s earlier trip to Cairo and Mansoura in October 2018 during which she soft launched the Fitzwilliam Museum’s new online Egyptian coffins resource. At that time, many attendees expressed interest in learning further from the Museum’s research, particularly from a methodological perspective, and sharing collections knowledge and experience, so that we might be able to work collaboratively.

During our visit, the following lectures were delivered:

An afternoon of discussions with curators and conservators explored current limitations and challenges of their coffins research and documentation project, and allowed us to begin to identify specific resources we might be able to provide in the form of publications, computer hardware and software and other technical skills training.

During our time in Cairo, His Excellency Sir Geoffrey Adams, British Ambassador to Egypt, kindly set aside time to meet with us. He is very familiar with the concepts underpinning GCRF funding and offered support for our project, possibly through an event at the Embassy to raise awareness of our work and explore possible ideas for future initiatives.

The Director of the EMC, Mrs Sabah Abd El-Razeq, was very welcoming to the Coffins Project team and supportive of our efforts in sharing knowledge and expertise. We discussed ideas for exploring how we can enable further support and collaborate with colleagues there. As a result of this visit, we are now planning to deliver a 3-day workshop on coffin construction and decoration in Cairo for June 2019. This will be a development of the workshop delivered in advance of the ‘Ancient Egyptian Coffins – Past, Present, Future’ conference held at the Fitzwilliam Museum in 2016, which coincided with the Death on the Nile: Uncovering the Afterlife of Ancient Egypt exhibition.

Created: 08 Mar 2019 Category: news cairo coffins egyptian museum collaboratin GCRF Global Challenges Research Fund

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