Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London

Inside the Petrie Museum, London. Inside the Petrie Museum, London.

The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London, is more commonly known just as the Petrie Museum. It was set up as a teaching resource for the Department of Archaeology and Philology, University College London (UCL). The department and the museum were established in 1892 as a result of a bequest by the English writer and traveller, Amelia Edwards (1831-1892).

Amelia Edwards donated her collection of several hundreds of Egyptian items as the basis for the museum, but the international importance of the collection was mainly due to the first Edwards Professor of Egyptian Archaeology and Philology (a Chair founded after the death of Amelia Edwards), the English archaeologist, (Sir) William Flinders Petrie (1853-1942).

By the beginning of the twenty-first century the museum housed about 80,000 items from ancient Egypt and Sudan. These objects illustrate life in the Nile Valley from prehistory to the medieval Islamic period. Among the thousands of objects are numerous items of textiles and garments, as well as equipment related to their production, including a large collection of sewing needles that range in size from small to very long and in a variety of materials, such as bone needles (UC10158; Hemamieh North Spur), wooden needles (UC1981), as well as various metal needles: bronze and copper needles (such as UC2251; Amarna, fourteenth century BC; Gurob, 7806; UC7720, Lahun; UC5278, Naqada); iron (UC63568, Memphis, Roman period), and silver (UC36151; prehistoric). There are also bone awls (UC7713, Gurob), and what would appear to be bird bones used as needle cases (UC36421, Naqada).

With respect to embroidery, there are several relevant pieces, including four fragments of fine linen (UC28107bii) with red and blue wool embroidery, which came from Hawara (Egypt D-K/Egypt). They date from the Byzantine period. There is also a fragment of cloth with white thread embroidery (UC28311i) from the late Roman period.

Address: Malet Place, Camden, London WC1E 6BT, England.

Museum website (retrieved 19th June 2016).

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 19th June 2016).


Last modified on Wednesday, 20 September 2017 09:47