Last week, the team were privileged to be invited to study the animal mummies housed in the Vatican Museum collection. Not being ones to pass up on such a great opportunity, we spent two days recording and photographing the collection. There is something quite satisfying about being able to bypass the four hour queue to get into the Vatican, walking past the persistent ticket touts and being ushered straight in by the guards! Once issued with special permits by the security office inside, we were greeted by the Curator of Egyptian Antiquities, Dr. Alessia Amenta, before discussing the Bio Bank project with her.
The Vatican stores, complete with armed guards, were impressive, but we were thankful that we visited in Spring when the temperature wasn’t so hot as to make working there uncomfortable! We had gone prepared with all our paperwork ready to be filled out once there – a trick we have learnt over the years! It was amazing to study a collection which had never been investigated before and we hope to publish a paper in the Bulletin produced by the Vatican Museums in due course.
We took the opportunity to have look around the Egyptian galleries during our time at the Museum. Here are a few snaps of some animal characters we found