Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology

Fragment of Cartonnage Mask
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The Petrie Museum houses an estimated 80,000 objects, making it one of the greatest collections of Egyptian and Sudanese archaeology in the world. It illustrates life in the Nile Valley from prehistory through the time of the pharaohs, the Ptolemaic, Roman and Coptic periods to the Islamic period.

The entire collection of this museum is a Designated Collection of national importance.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Open to the public Tuesday to Saturday 13.00 – 17.00.

We are also open for group and individual researcher visits on weekday mornings 10am - 12pm and all day Monday, but booking for this is essential - please contact the museum.

Admission charges


The entire collection of the Petrie Museum is a Designated Collection of national importance.

The Petrie Museum's collection - numbering over 80,000 objects - covers the full range of Egypt's complex history from Palaeolithic to Islamic times, and includes artefacts from all types of archaeological sites in Egypt. It is largely based on the artefact collections gathered by the pioneering archaeologist Sir Flinders Petrie on his many excavations, and includes his own detailed documentation. Spectacular decorative objects - including pottery, mosaics and superb funerary portraits, are complemented by a comprehensive collection of everyday objects, from tools and weapons to weights and measures, from garments to cooking vessels. Collections of geological, botanical, zoological and some mummified human material help to give a complete picture of the ancient Egyptian world.

The collection is full of 'firsts': One of the earliest pieces of linen from Egypt (about 5000 BC); two lions from the temple of Min at Koptos, from the first group of monumental sculpture (about 3000 BC); a fragment from the first kinglist or calendar (about 2900 BC); the earliest example of metal from Egypt, the first worked iron beads, the earliest example of glazing, the earliest 'cylinder seal' in Egypt (about 3500 BC); the oldest wills on papyrus paper, the oldest gynaecological papyrus; the only veterinary papyrus from ancient Egypt, and the largest architectural drawing, showing a shrine (about 1300 BC).

More than these highlights, though, the collection is uniquely important because so much of it comes from documented excavations. The large typological series of objects (amulets, faience, objects of daily use, tools and weapons, weights and measures, stone vessels, jewellery) provide a unique insight into how people have lived and died in the Nile Valley.

Items from this collection

Collection details

Weapons and War, Science and Technology, Personalities, Natural Sciences, Decorative and Applied Art, Costume and Textiles, Archives, Archaeology

Key artists and exhibits

  • Designated Collection
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
A postcard made at one of our postcard workshops

Different perspectives: opening night

  • 16 May 2017 6-8pm

Join us for the launch of the exhibition ‘Different perspectives’ with talks by volunteer researchers, hands-on activity and a recreation of the ‘home front’ in the museum.

Suitable for

  • Any age
A postcard made at one of our postcard making workshops

Different Perspectives: Archaeology and the Middle East in World War I

  • 16 May — 30 September 2017

An exhibition on the use of archaeologists and archaeology within the war campaigns in the Middle East; from the well-known T. E. Lawrence to the almost unknown Rupert Duncan Willey. It considers the archaeological legacy and human cost of the war in the region.

Suitable for

  • Any age
Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
A postcard made at one of our postcard workshops

Petrie’s war: performing the archive

  • 10 May 2017 6-8pm

Hidden within the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology’s archives are countless untold stories. Through a series of devised performances MA drama students from the University of East London have delved into the archive to find personal accounts and archaeological facts to bring these hidden stories to life. Petrie's War: Performing the Archive is a collaboration, Pregnant Fish Theatre and Dr Eve Katsouraki.

Suitable for

  • Any age


A postcard made at one of our postcard making workshops

Different Perspectives – Archaeology and the Middle East in World War I: volunteer lunchtime talks

  • 18 May 2017 1:15-1:45pm
  • 1 June 2017 1:15-1:45pm
  • 6 July 2017 1:15-1:45pm

Find out more about the people and places featured in our exhibition on archaeology and the Middle East in World War 1 with one of our volunteers.

Suitable for

  • Any age
Book cover of 'Cairo: Dreamers of the Day' (2008) by Mary Doria Russell

Different perspectives: World War I book club

  • 21 May 2017 1:15-1:45pm
  • 20 June 2017 1:15-1:45pm

Discover and discuss fiction books about World War I and its aftermath in the Middle East. The themes and books are: Tuesday 23 May – Spies: Empire of Sand (2008) by Robert Ryan and The Baghdad Railway Club (2013) by Andrew Martin. Thursday 20 June – Cairo: Dreamers of the Day (2008) by Mary Doria Russell and Palace Walk
(1956) by Naguib Mahfouz.

Suitable for

  • Any age
Souvenir of Egypt wartime postcard

With Love From: Postcard making families activity

  • 30 May — 1 June 2017

Make your own postcards using ancient monuments and objects, e.g. the Pyramids in Egypt, like soldiers did to keep in contact with their families in World War I.

Suitable for

  • 7-10
A piece of papyrus

Papyrus for the people: open night

  • 28 June 2017 6-8pm

Come behind the scenes at the Petrie Museum to learn about our collection of letters, drawings and tales on papyrus. Look at our conservation techniques and find out how this delicate but transformative material was made.

Suitable for

  • Any age
Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

ESOL Entry 3 and Level One

ESOL Resources for tutors to use with their groups in the museum, or can be adapted for the classroom. Includes pre and post visit activities as well as an Introduction to the museum and full tutor's notes.
Downloadable from the web.

How to obtain

ESOL visits to the Petrie Museum are free and can booked during opening hours and, depending on space, on Thursday and Friday mornings.

Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology
University College London
Malet Place
Greater London


UCL Museums and Collections



020 7679 2884


020 7679 2886

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.