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Egypt Revealed

2 April 2024

Behind-the-scenes glimpse at archaeology and conservation for UK society

Members of the Ancient Egypt and Middle East Society (AEMES) gained an insight into the work of Archaeology and Conservation at the University this spring.

On the visit, society members had introductions to the conservation field and the teaching of archaeological illustration in the School of History, Archaeology and Religion.

During the visit, Reader in Conservation Phil Parkes introduced the University’s considerable work in conservation, focussing particularly on the Egyptian objects currently undergoing treatment, including a 26th Dynasty Egyptian coffin (dated circa 664-525 BCE).

Ultimately for display at the Egypt Centre in Swansea, the ancient coffin has been the final resting place for at least 3 occupants over its lifespan – both male and female.

The society visitors were also shown other Egyptian items including a stone stele and a copper-alloy figure of Isis nursing the infant Horus.  Such figures are well known from the Late Period (747-332 BCE) and Ptolemaic times, found at sites like the Sacred Animal Necropolis at Saqqara.

Graphic Designer and Digital Archaeological Illustrator Kirsty Harding gave the group an introduction to the teaching of archaeological illustration, one of the many skills archaeology students are taught at the University.

As part of the visit, the group had a tour of the University’s specialist conservation and archaeology suites, labs and equipment including its scanning electron microscope. The specialist facilities in Archaeology and Conservation have recently benefitted from £3M of collaborative funding that supports its award-winning research, teaching and engagement in the School of History, Archaeology and Religion.

Professor Paul Nicholson, current president of AEMES, facilitated the visit on 22 March.

He said: “It is always a pleasure to show visitors the extensive range of facilities and specialist staff we have here at Cardiff.”

Established in 1987, the Ancient Egypt and Middle East Society works to promote and encourage interest in the history, archaeology and cultures of the ancient civilisations of the Near East.

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