Science Week went down a storm last week at Manchester Museum with a whole range of activities for visitors of all ages. From specialist talks and demonstrations to hands on children’s activities like mummifying an orange, there was lots to see and do! As always, the school holidays are guaranteed to see an influx of younger visitors and their families, eager to take part in the activities on offer and see the galleries for themselves. Of course, this means that the museum is often much busier during these times, but it is such a lovely sight to see youngsters enjoying their visit. One way of measuring this is with the guest book in the temporary gallery, where visitors can leave message about what they liked or didn’t like about the exhibition. We loved the messages from families about how the exhibition had sparked an interest in ancient Egypt, helped children with their school work, or inspired them so much that they came back more than once! The votive interactive area of the exhibition has proved to be very popular with hundreds of visitors leaving messages and pleas for their selected god.
Science Week may be over for another year, but that does not mean that the fun has ended! Gifts for the Gods has provided many opportunities for us to engage with the public over our research. It’s a subject that gets people talking every time. Steph’s Science Week talk looked closely at the post-excavation stories behind six key objects in the exhibition, helping to give them back some of their context and show how science can be used to tell us more. On Thursday this week, I will present a talk on how animal mummies came to be in Britain and introduce some of the key characters who have played their part in their stories.
On Thursday 26th November, the museum is hosting an after hours event where people can come and enjoy an evening in the galleries. The November event will be focused on animal mummies and will give visitors the chance to talk to myself and Campbell, curator of Egypt and Sudan, about the exhibition and the collections in more detail. We do hope that many of you will be able to join us for this unique event.
In connection with the Wellcome Trust, on Saturday 14th November the museum will host a special study day on animal mummies. We are looking forward to welcome some very special guests, including Chris Naunton (Director of the Egypt Exploration Society), Paul Nicholson (Professor of Archaeology at Cardiff University and Director of the current excavations at Saqqara) and Ashley Cooke (Curator of World Cultures at World Museum Liverpool) to come along and share their expertise with visitors. Campbell, Steph and I will also be there to talk about the role of animals in Egypt and how science can be used to learn more about animal mummies. The study day is being offered as a free event, but booking is essential. Please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/discovering-animal-mummies-day-school-tickets-19075729019 to book on to the event.
The learning and engagement team at the museum are constantly working on events to support the delivery of the exhibition, so please do keep checking the museum website for updates and be sure to contact us if you have any ideas or suggestions.
We look forward to seeing you at an animal mummies event soon!