Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology

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.
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

Tues-Sat 1300-1700
Closed Bank holidays
Easter & Christmas Period Closed
Closed January and February 2014 for new lighting installation.

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 Fusion of Worlds: Ancient Egypt, African Art and Identity in Modernist Britain Exhibition

  • 11 March — 24 May 2014 *on now

An exploration of the ways in which modernist artists – Jacob Epstein, Edna Manley and Ronald Moody – have been inspired by Ancient Egypt. The exhibition places these artists’ reworking of Egyptian art in context of their political, spiritual and gendered expressions of identity. Drawing on the influence of the Harlem Renaissance and ‘discovering’ African Art, this display repositions the work of artists, such as Jamaican born Ronald Moody, in the public memory.

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.

It's a Murder at the Museum

  • 16 May 2014 6-9pm

Was it Prof. Grant in the Grant Museum ? Or perhaps Mr. Bentham in the Octagon Gallery ? Or Miss Edwards In the Petrie Museum ?Join us for an evening of intrigue and subterfuge, solve the clues across the Museum to crack the UCL Museum murder mystery. Come as a team of up to five and there are prizes to be won for the team who can solve the case as well as for best dressed detectives on the night. The event ends in The Grant Museum with a drinks reception and the winners revealed.

Suitable for

  • 18+


From broken sherd to pot

  • 17 May 2014 5-8pm

Led by Studio Manifold an evening of drawing and sketching using a replica of Petrie’s drawing machine that he used to identify from broken pot fragments just what they would have looked like.

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • 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.