Sunday, January 10, 2016

London, 2015: The British Museum II - Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan

The Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan at the British Museum houses an extensive collection of objects 
which illustrate the cultures of the Nile Valley, from the Neolithic period (about 10,000 BC) until the present day. 

Objects from Ancient Egypt have formed part of the collection of the British Museum 
since its beginning as a home for the objects left to the nation by Sir Hans Sloane when he died in 1753. 
About 150 items from this original collection were from Egypt.
Today the collection includes more than 100,000 objects.

The British Museum houses the world's largest and most comprehensive collection of Egyptian antiquities 
outside the Egyptian Museum in Cairo (with over 100,000 pieces - one of the most famous of these being the Rosetta Stone). 
A collection of immense importance for its range and quality, 
it includes objects of all periods from virtually every site of importance in Egypt and the Sudan. 
Together, they illustrate every aspect of the cultures of the Nile Valley, a time-span over 11,000 years.

The seven permanent Egyptian galleries at the British Museum, which include its largest exhibition space, 
can display only 4% of its Egyptian holdings. 
The galleries have a selection of the museum's collection of 140 mummies and coffins, the largest outside Cairo. 
A high proportion of the collection comes from tombs or contexts associated with the cult of the dead, 
and it is these pieces, in particular the mummies, 
that remain among the most eagerly sought after exhibits by visitors to the museum. 

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