Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology
Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology
University College London
UCL Museums and Collections
020 7679 2884
020 7679 2886
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.
Closed Bank holidays
Easter & Christmas Period Closed
Closed January and February 2014 for new lighting installation.
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
Weapons and War, Science and Technology, Personalities, Natural Sciences, Decorative and Applied Art, Costume and Textiles, Archives, Archaeology
Key artists and exhibits
- Designated Collection
David Barnett: Gideon Smith and Fantasy Egypt in Victorian London
- 29 October 2014 6-8pm
Come join The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archeology in welcoming David Barnett, author of the Gideon Smith alternate history books. This event will include a discussion of his books including Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl which involves a journey from Victorian Whitby to London down the Nile in Egypt. Admission is free and be sure to book on http://gideonsmith.eventbrite.co.uk.
From Tomb to Life: Family Workshop
- 30 October 2014 3-5pm
Family workshop to explore our cabinet of curiosities, make your own museum object and bring it from a tomb to life at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology inspired by the new Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb. Afterwards, why not take a short break and then see the screening of the second Night at the Museum (2009) film after hours in the museum (separate booking essential)?
This event is part of Night at the Museum Mile, delivered by inmidtown. To celebrate the release of Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, in cinemas December 2014, take part in the Night at the Museum Mile trail during October half-term (17-31 October). The more museums you visit, the more chances you have to win amazing prizes, including a trip to LA for you and your family. For more information and to enter the competition, visit http://www.museum-mile.org.uk/.
The Gentlemen of Horror. Mr Cushing and Mr Lee
- 31 October 2014 6-9pm
When they first worked together in The Curse of Frankenstein, Dracula and The Mummy, Peter Cushing was one of the most famous actors in Britain, while Christopher Lee was unknown.
For the next quarter of a century, these two killed each other again and again and became firm friends. As Christopher Lee became internationally famous, Peter Cushing gradually retired into a life of quiet obscurity. And yet neither quite lost their taste for blood...
Written by James Goss, Directed by Kate Webster and starring actors Will McGeough and Matthew Woodcock
Ticket price includes a glass of wine.
Admission is £10 and includes a glass of wine.
UCL Art Museum on Tour: A Thousand Words at the Petrie
- 20 November 2014 6:30-8pm
Join us to explore the longstanding relationship between creative writing and the visual arts.
Using the Petrie Museum’s rich collection of artefacts and works of art, participants will be led through creative writing exercises exploring rhetorical means to relate to art differently.
Free, booking required at https://thousand-words-uclam-petrie.eventbrite.co.uk
Worlds Collide: Fin de Siècle Fantasy Egypt
- 28 November 2014 6-9pm
Jump from the 21st century back over 100 years, then back to Ancient Egypt and forward again with Roger Luckhurst (author of The Mummy’s Curse. A True Story of a Dark Fantasy) on occult mappings of London. A Friday night mini-festival with a range of activities from fortune telling with Astrampsychos, making 3-D postcards from 1890s Egypt and a 1880s to 1920s disco.
For more details see facebook Excavating Objects at the Petrie Museum.
- Any age
The Archaeology of Lawrence of Arabia
- 6 December 2014 2-5pm, 6-10:30pm
The Petrie Museum / ASTENE / CBRL (Council for British Research in the Levant) presents an afternoon and evening exploring the legend of ‘Lawrence of Arabia’. The afternoon seminar includes a lecture by writer and historian Anthony Sattin, author of new book Young Lawrence: a Portrait of the legend as a Young Man (published by John Murray October 2014), as well as historian and archaeologist Dr Neil Faulkner (Great Arab Revolt Project) on the archaeology of T. E. Lawrence’s guerrilla warfare.
After a short break there will be a drinks reception and Lawrence themed display in the Petrie Museum at 6pm, followed by a key scenes guide by Cathie Bryan (ASTENE) and screening of Lawrence of Arabia (1962) at 7pm.
- Any age
£5 for seminar and reception
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.