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  • The Petrie Geeks Out (Again)

    By Debbie J Challis, on 5 August 2014

    Next week the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology is exhibiting at LonCon3 - the largest science fiction (SF) convention in the world. We’ll be there alongside exhibits on Doctor Who, Iain M Banks, academic posters on SF and English Heritage. But why is a museum of Egyptian Archaeology going to this mahosive SF convention? (more…)

    Riding on the crest of a ware

    By Rachael Sparks, on 6 August 2013

    Felixstowe Crested WareI’m quite partial to memorabilia, and I have a passionate interest in the life and work of Flinders Petrie, not just because he’s a an impressively beardy archaeologist and legend, but also because for some years now I’ve been responsible for looking after his collection of Palestinian antiquities at the UCL Institute of Archaeology Collections. So I was quite chuffed when I did a search on Ebay a few years ago, and came across this inspiring item. (more…)

    Egypt around London

    By Debbie J Challis, on 23 October 2011

    One of the occasional events that the Petrie Museum runs from April to October are lectures or walking talks exploring Ancient Egypt in London through Egyptianizing architecture and other monuments. Under the heading ‘Out and About with the Petrie Museum’ we have so far gone to Cleopatra’s Needle, looked at sphinxes in Crystal Palace Park, explored factories such as the Carreras Building in Mornington Crescent and the Hoover Factory in Perivale, as well as Kensal Green and West Norwood Cemeteries, and more besides. These tours are given by an expert in Egyptianizing architecture Cathie Bryan and on occasion, when about the Victorian period, by myself.

    Twickenham Bridge

    This summer Cathie proposed going to the west of London and exploring Egypt in Richmond. My colleague at the Museum of Richmond, Phillippa Heath, agreed to do a joint event as part of National Archaeology Week on 16 July 2010. Cathie’s programme was as ever ambitious and involved the various obelisks in Richmond and Richmond Park, a factory in St Margarets, and Twickenham Bridge. In May, Phillippa and myself joined Cathie for a reccie to check timings and so we could publicise the event properly. (more…)

    Not So Lost Cities

    By Debbie J Challis, on 31 May 2011

    Statellite Map of Tanis

    The use of ‘space archaeology’, a pioneering approach using satellite technology and infra-red surveying, in finding previously undiscovered monuments and towns from the ancient past in Egypt was illustrated on BBC1 last night (Egypt’s Lost Cities, BBC1, 30 May 2011). And very exciting it all was too as the group dashed from site to site, came up against problems with permits to dig, then got support from the supreme authority, dashed around some more sites, got other archaeologists to dig for them (with varying results) and then were embroiled in a democratic revolution.
    (more…)

    Tarot and Ancient Egypt – A Connection?

    By Debbie J Challis, on 27 April 2011

    A couple of years ago, I wanted to know why there were so many Ancient Egyptian inspired objects in ‘New Age’ shops and what the connections where with tarot.  I was put in touch with a  historian and practitioner Lena Munday and thought I’d share with you what she wrote:

    “A language in itself, a book of occult wisdom, a mode of communication invented by the Ancients that reaches us today despite centuries of persecution, distortion and neglect…A coded system linked directly to Astrology, gnosticism, alchemy, ritual magic and Qabala… The Tarot is a mirror and a map of the soul reflecting the entire spectrum of human experience.

    From the infancy of the Fool to the completion and knowledge that finds its embodiment in the World, this system speaks the ancient language of symbols. This book has evolved into a deck comprised of 78 cards, 22 of these are the Major Arcana and the remaining 56 are the Minor Arcana with four suits- Pentacles, Swords, Rods or Wands and Cups. These number ace to ten and include pages, knights, kings and queens. For each card there is an alchemical correspondence, an astrological sign and a number. (more…)