Although the Ancient Worlds opened only a matter of days ago, we are today celebrating one hundred years of Egyptology displays at the Manchester Museum. On 30th October 1912 a group of worthies including Jesse Haworth (standing in the picture), William Flinders Petrie (seated third from right) and William Boyd Dawkins (first on right) opened the new Egyptology gallery, which had been generously funded by Howarth. He had also given his spectacular Egyptology collection to the Museum. This was the result of his funding of Flinders Petrie’s excavations in Egypt. All these famous characters are featured in the new Ancient Worlds displays, which celebrate their unique contribution to archaeology and Egyptology.
If you wanted another famous personality, Elliot Grafton Smith is also on the podium. It is not so long since the Museum, working with colleagues in the wider university – the centre for biomedical Egyptology – put on an exhibition about Smith’s work in the Sudan. And fieldwork in northern Sudan is also featured in a short interview with Prof Jamie Woodward in the first gallery of Ancient Worlds.
We originally planned to open the galleries today but brought forward the opening date to take advantage of this weeks’ half term holiday. But today is a very special day all the same. Strange to think – even though they are less than a week old, in a sense they are already celebrating their hundredth birthday!