The Egyptians

The Egyptian Gallery at Norwich Castle contains a small but significant collection of artefacts that date from around 4500 to 2500 years old, many of which were donated by wealthy travellers such as Jeremiah Colman, who visited Egypt in the 19th century, and Henry Rider Haggard, the author of ‘King Solomon’s Mines’.

Meet the mummy of Ankh Hor, an important priest who worked in the temple of Amun in Karnak around 3000 years ago.  Previously held at Sandringham House near King's Lynn, the mummy was donated to the museum in 1923 by King George V.

An X-ray of Ankh Hor’s mummy shows the presence of lots of modern pins and clips. These probably date from the Victorian period when mummy ‘unrolling’ parties were popular.

One of the rarest objects on display is a clay model of a granary painted with figures on all four sides. It is unusual because most of these 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.

Of the objects collected by Rider Haggard is a fragment of pottery inscribed with the story of an Egyptian princess, which he described in his novel ‘She’. Despite the pottery and inscriptions being fakes created especially for his novel, they worked to create a national interest in all things Egyptian.

Visit the Norfolk Museums Collections website to search our collections.