Limestone lintel of Ramses III © 2023 The Trustees of the British Museum
Limestone lintel of Ramses III © 2023 The Trustees of the British Museum

Unlock the mysteries of Ancient Egypt in new FREE exhibitions at the Ferens

Ferens Art Gallery are delighted to announce an Ancient Egypt season this Spring/Summer 2023.

Featuring two free exhibitions supported by a dedicated programme for schools and public events, the season will explore the beauty and mystery of ancient Egypt celebrating two of the greatest Egyptian discoveries of the last 200 years. The decoding of the Rosetta Stone in 1822, which unlocked our understanding of the ancient Egyptian world. Then one hundred years later, the discovery in 1922 of the almost undisturbed tomb of Tutankhamun which sparked a worldwide sensation.

A highlight of the season will be the British Museum touring exhibition Egyptian hieroglyphs: unlock the mystery, charting the beauty and language of Egyptian hieroglyphs. Displaying a range of objects from ancient Egypt, the exhibition will provide an insight into the importance of hieroglyphs for ancient Egyptians, playing a pivotal role in their lives and beyond. Other objects in the exhibition include an extract from the Book of the Dead, a large limestone lintel revealing the name of Pharoah Ramses III and an ancestor statue that helped to keep the memory of the dead alive in the family house.

The second exhibition, Tutankhamun: 100 Years of Discovery, will unearth the thrilling stories, myths and controversies surrounding the treasures of Tutankhamun. Hull Museums will be displaying their collection of beautifully crafted replicas of treasures found in Tutankhamun’s tomb, which were handmade by sculptor William Aumonier Junior and his team of skilled artisans for the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley in 1924 and 1925. Visitors will be able to follow in the footsteps of those Wembley visitors from 100 years ago when the momentous discovery caused a sensation and ‘Tutmania’ swept the world.

The two exhibitions will be on display alongside each other at the Ferens Art Gallery from Friday 17 March to Sunday 18 June 2023.

For visitors wishing to discover more, the season will feature bookable talks by British Egyptologist Joann Fletcher and drop in talks by Hull Museums curatorial team.

Families will be able to explore the beauty of ancient Egypt through bookable artist workshops and a series of family-friendly drop-in activities for all ages and abilities.

Primary schools from Hull and the region will also be invited to explore the two exhibitions to discover the treasures of Tutankhamun’s Tomb and unlock the secrets of Ancient Egyptian life through bookable workshops.

Further details on the supporting programme are to be announced.

Councillor Alison Collinson, Chair of Hull Culture and Leisure Ltd, said: “Ancient Egypt has fascinated people for generations. It’s exciting that the Ferens, with the help and generosity of the British Museum, is able to offer these free exhibitions, which will showcase this sensational chapter of history for our local residents and schoolchildren to enjoy.”

Hartwig Fischer, Director of the British Museum, said: “The British Museum touring exhibition Egyptian hieroglyphs: unlock the mystery marks 200 years since the remarkable breakthrough to decipher a long-lost language. For the first time in millennia the ancient Egyptians could speak directly to us. By breaking the code, our understanding of this incredible civilisation has given us an unprecedented window onto the people of the past and their way of life.”

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