Rochdale's Ancient Egyptian Artefacts on display at National Show
Date published: 07 December 2015
A new major exhibition Beyond Beauty: Transforming the Body in Ancient Egypt is to go on show at Two Temple Place (London) in the New Year, bringing national acclaim to artefacts gathered from different collections around the UK, many reunited for the first time since their discovery.
Beyond Beauty will show the ancient Egyptians at their most spectacular. Jewellery, mirrors, hairpins, scent bottles and makeup provide an insight into some surprisingly familiar daily routines and the ever changing styles of the time. Meanwhile, rare surviving imagery on exquisite painted coffins, decorated funerary masks, delicate figurines and beautifully carved reliefs will all be displayed together at Two Temple Place, London; a specialist museum for Egyptology. Through artefacts spanning over four millennia, from 3,500 B.C. to 400 A.D., we can find out why Egyptians cared so much about transforming the way they looked by the objects they left behind.
Beyond Beauty is created by the Bulldog Trust in partnership with six museums from across the country. Many of the artefacts on display come from the same archaeological excavations, and are seen together collectively for the first time since their discovery by pioneering Victorian Egyptologists.
Drawn from Touchstones Rochdale, Bagshaw Museum (Kirklees Council), Bexhill Museum, Bolton Museum, Royal Pavilion & Museums (Brighton & Hove) and Macclesfield Museums the exhibition includes the fascinating stories of how such objects reached their current UK homes, supported by outstanding original archival material.
Touchstones Rochdale's stunning set of four canopic jars, to hold the internal organs of a mummified body, have been loaned for the exhibition. They include the jackal-headed Duamutef, the human-headed Imsety, the falcon-headed Qebehsenuef and the baboon-headed Hapy all from excavations at the Ramesseum, Thebes.
Tom Besford, Arts & Heritage Manager said: "We're really delighted to be working with other partners from the North West to present some of our most precious artefacts at Two Temple Place, London. The research that has been undertaken by Egyptologists will provide new insights into Rochdale's amazing collection which will enable us to display the collection here in Rochdale in 2017. Some of the objects haven't been displayed for over 10 years and without this specialist knowledge the exhibition would not be possible."
Museum Curator, Sarah Hodgkinson, explained: "This is a very exciting project to be involved with. Not only will our wonderful Egyptian collection be seen by new audiences, we have also had the chance to assess the condition of the collection and identify key pieces that will be highlighted as part of our own exhibition."
Councillor Janet Emsley, Cabinet Member for Culture, Health and Wellbeing added: "We are so pleased that our canopic jars will be reunited with other artefacts and contribute to this wonderful exhibition. I am determined that the hidden gems in our collection are made more accessible to everyone, this is just a tiny bit of our vast and amazing collection. We look forward to more opportunities to display items in partnership with other institutions in the future."
Beyond Beauty will be on show from Saturday 30 January – Sunday 24 April 2016.