17 November 2023

Nuova Egyptiana


Next outing was the Egyptian museum at the Leipzig University and we expected just a small collection in one room but it was more generous than that, partly because the whole collection was on display and partly because the Germans were very involved in Egyptian excavations anyway. I like that the whole collection is on display. It changes the nature of the experience, so not just significant, featured items, but all held items, tasteful or less so. Thus a screed of bowls or ushabtis or little statues or scarab beetles. You can thus form a better opinion of the class of items. There were also three mummies, unlike Egypt where mummies are seldom on display. One mummy was of the Roman era with a classic Fayun mummy portrait: painted personal portraits of the deceased on timber. I've seen these cherished portraits but never in place on an original mummy. Another fascination was a room of writings covering the middle east and Egypt from ~3kBCE to ~1kCE. Fascinating to see the development of the various script. Another touching thing was a husband and wife statue with the wife's arm over the husband's shoulder. How touching and personal. Less intimate but amusing was the woman holding her dress up and baring herself. Perhaps from a brothel. Again, never seen that in a collection of ancient Egyptiana. So even though not a huge collection, it was a fascinating and varied one.

The Egyptian museum is in the University in Leipzig.

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