Ancient Egyptian treasures go on display in Southport
By Andrew Cain
A Southport museum has unveiled a special selection of rare and fascinating ancient Egyptian treasures.
The Atkinson Museum on Lord Street, Southport, opened its new Sacred Landscapes of Ancient Egypt exhibit to the public last Saturday.
The exhibition contains treasures from the Goodison Egyptology Collection, an assortment that was previously displayed in the Bootle Museum and has been in storage for over 40 years. Some of the pieces date back to up to 3,000 BC.
The display is a joint venture between The Atkinson and Dr Steven Snape, reader of Egyptian Archaeology at Liverpool University.
According to Dr Snape, the way the exhibition is laid out is designed to take people on a journey, as well as to show the deeply spiritual connection that the ancient Egyptians felt with their environment and the land around them. This connection influenced their perception and the design of everything from their spectacular temples to everyday household objects.
The objects are displayed around a giant map in the centre of the floor, which takes attendees on this journey, to show the strength of the land’s influence on ancient Egyptian art, architecture and religion.
Dr Snape said: “The idea is to turn the idea of a traditional exhibit on its head. It all comes down to the map which ties everything together.
“Because the way they looked at the environment affected so much of their culture, we really wanted to bring that into the exhibit.”
Documentation officer at The Atkinson Jo Chamberlain said the exhibition had already generated a lot of excitement and interest from a lot of people, from academics to people who are just excited about the objects on display.
She said: “I don’t know what it is about things to do with ancient Egypt, but people get genuinely really excited about it.
“We do get a lot of people coming to Southport just to see our collections, but people from the area have also taken great pride in the fact that it’s based locally.”
As part of the exclusive collection, there is also a display featuring a panel from a coffin dating back to 800BC that has never been able to be put on display in the past. Thanks to the renovation The Atkinson has benefitted from in the past few years, the piece is now finally able to be shown.
Ms Chamberlain said: “It would not normally be put on display, but we want people to see something this lovely in the hope that they might consider donating towards having it conserved.”
The exhibition opened last Saturday and runs until August 30.