The Egyptian Gallery
The Egyptian Gallery at Norwich Castle is small but contains a significant collection of artefacts, which were found in Egyptian tombs and donated by wealthy travellers who visited Egypt in the nineteenth century.
Following the death of Henry Rider Haggard (known for works such as King Solomon’s Mines) his collection of Ancient Egyptian antiquities were donated to Norwich Castle. Within this collection is a fragment of pottery inscribed with the story of an Egyptian princess, which is described in the novel ‘She’. The pottery and inscription are fakes, created especially for the novel, but they succeeded in creating significant intrigue in this period of history, an intrigue which is continued throughout the rest of the gallery which contains artefacts of around 4,500-2,500 years old.
One of the most stunning artefacts is the mummy of Ankh Hor, which was presented to the castle in 1928 by King George V. Ankh Hor was an important priest in the temple of Amun in Karnak about 3000 years ago. An X-ray of the mummy shows lots of modern pins and clips, these most likely date to Victorian times when mummy unrolling parties were popular.
One of the rarest exhibits is a clay model of a granary painted with figures on all four sides. It is unusual because most were made from wood. They were buried within a tomb and were intended to be used by the dead person to store grain needed in the afterlife.
See also: The Egytians (virtual exhibition)