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This blog is a behind the scenes look at the Roman Baths in Bath. We hope you enjoy reading our stories about life surrounding the Roman Baths.



Wednesday, 29 June 2011

ACCES to Egypt

If I were to ask you what sort of items we have in our collection here, I reckon the first thing you would mention would be Roman things. What else would the Roman Baths Museum have? Well our collection spans a much bigger time period than that. It actually runs right up to the present day! I’m also pretty certain you wouldn’t guess that we have a small collection of Egyptian artefacts.

Winged Scarab
Yeah, it came as quite a surprise to me, too! So how did I come to discover this little collection? Did I just open a random box, look inside and find it in a rather Indiana Jones like fashion? Not so much…

Shabti
You see I was helping respond to an enquiry from the Association of Curators for Collections from Egypt and Sudan (ACCES). ACCES have recently re-vamped their website and, as part of this, have created a Facebook page which features a gallery of highlights from museum collections. This gallery includes images and captions from museum collections.

Limestone Shabti
And, since the Baths works very hard to raise the profile of all of our collection, naturally we took part in this. So James took the photographs while I researched and wrote the captions. Not the most exciting way to discover something, I’ll admit, but still enjoyable!

I suppose you are wondering how the Roman Baths Museum came to own a collection of Egyptian artefacts? Well, artefacts from Egypt have always been popular with private collectors and a long time ago this collection was donated to the Victoria Art Gallery, who, in 1982, transferred the collection to the Baths.

In general, I’m not that interested in Egyptian archaeology, but I still find this collection to be rather exciting. Of the five artefacts we have highlighted from our collection, my favourite is a model of a winged scarab. It is most likely to be an amulet (scarabs were popular motifs for amulets) and I find it adorable! While it may be very simply constructed (just three pieces, tied together with string), and has no glitzy gold or gems, I love it. I think it’s quite sweet really.

Are you interested in seeing what other pieces we have highlighted? Then why don’t you check out the ACCES Facebook page?

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/media/set/?set=a.204898112888207.55841.123557411022278

Charlotte

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