Objects Come to Life is a physical and digital exhibition of the Eton Myers Collection of Egyptian Art, on loan to the University of Birmingham, which explores the importance and intrigue of private collections of ancient artefacts.

Amulet and DiaryMany objects arrive into museums from private collections without any contextual information, yet every artefact has their own unique story to tell. Objects Come to Life brings together the research of over a dozen specialists intent on illuminating the lives of some of the mysterious Eton Myers artefacts.

The exhibition runs from 29 October 2016 through to late summer 2017.

This exhibition has been kindly supported by Eton College, University of Birmingham’s Research and Cultural Collections, and Birmingham Egyptology, and has been generously funded by the University of Birmingham’s College of Arts and Law Postgraduate Development Fund.

Email Objects Come to Life Curator S.L.Boonstra@bham.ac.uk to book a viewing of the exhibition at the University of Birmingham.
Objects Come to Life Exhibition

Virtual Exhibition

“Balabish: Rediscovering an expedition”, by Carl Graves

“Living With the Gods: Religion and daily life in ancient Egypt”, by Maria Michela Luiselli

“Some Significant Shabtis: How objects can illuminate a period of political and cultural change”, by Edward Mushett Cole

“Come Dine With Me! Tomb Warmings in Ancient Egypt”, by Martin Bommas

“Life Through Wax: Beeswax in ancient Egypt”, by Zara Shoosmith

“‘Would I lie to you?’ The truth behind object marks and museum catalogue entries”, by Carla Gallorini

“The Four Sons of Horus: Guardians of the dead”, by Sarah Chapman

“The Organic Nature of Isis Imagery: An in-depth look at an Isis statuette”, by Harry Fowler

“A Vessel for this Life and the Next: A decorated Naqada II Period jar”, by Steven R. W. Gregory

“Gifts for the Gods: Animal votives and mummies in ancient Egypt”, by Brooke Norton

“The Discovery and Accessioning of the Shabti of Horwedja”, by Sigrid Nilsson

3D models are available in pdf format linked to some of the objects presented. These images are interactive and can be moved by right-clicking the cursor over the image or scrolling to zoom. Click both buttons of the mouse together to drag the image. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the files, this can be downloaded for free at http://get.adobe.com/uk/reader/.If you are having trouble viewing the files please left-click and save the files to your desktop and open in Adobe Reader from there. Please note: some files may take some time to open – please be patient.

Would you like to contribute a short essay about an aspect of the Eton Myers Collection of Egyptian Art? Please email S.L.Boonstra@bham.ac.uk for more details


About the Contributors:

Stephanie Boonstra is a PhD candidate in Egyptology at the University of Birmingham and is also the current Postgraduate Curator of the Eton Myers Collection of Egyptian Art currently on loan to the University of Birmingham. She is the curator of the Objects Come to Life physical and digital exhibition which aims to create biographies of the objects in the Eton Myers Collection, especially those with no archaeological provenance. Her research focus is on Eighteenth Dynasty scarabs, with a special emphasis on their production.

Martin Bommas is a Reader in Egyptology at the University of Birmingham and is the Curator of the Eton Myers Collection of Egyptian Art. He is also the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Egyptian Archaeology and the director of the Qubbet el-Hawa Research Project in Aswan, Egypt. He is currently a Getty Scholar researching art within Isis Temples in the Roman world.

Sarah Chapman is a PhD candidate in Egyptology at the University of Birmingham who recently submitted her doctoral thesis on the embalming ritual of the Late Period through to Ptolemaic Egypt. She also specialises in computational photography in archaeology and has created the 3D images featured in the Objects Come to Life virtual exhibition as well as co-curated Bes: Development of a Deity.

Harry Fowler is currently an MA student in Museum Studies at the University of Leicester after completing his BA in Ancient History at the University of Birmingham. While an undergraduate, he volunteered in the Eton Myers Collection and wrote his undergraduate dissertation on Isiac imagery.

Carla Gallorini is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham and is an expert in Egyptian ceramics. She was formerly a Research Assistant at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research in Cambridge where her primary research was on the pottery of Kom Rabia, Memphis. In addition to working extensively in the field as an archaeologist in Egypt, she has also worked as the librarian and assistant secretary of the Egypt Exploration Society.

Carl Graves is a final year PhD candidate in Egyptology at the University of Birmingham researching landscape in the Middle Kingdom. He is also the Education and Public Engagement Manager at the Egypt Exploration Society, which in part involves researching and working with the excavation archives held there. He previously held the position of Postgraduate Curator of the Eton Myers Collection of Egyptian Art at the University of Birmingham and has curated previous exhibitions utilising the collection, such as Connections: Communication in Ancient Egypt and Bes: Development of a Deity.

Steven Gregory is an alumni of the University of Birmingham and is currently an independent scholar researching the iconography of kingship, with particular focus upon the New Kingdom ritual landscape at Thebes. Previously a Teaching Fellow at the University of Birmingham, Steven is now the Chair of Birmingham Egyptology and the editor of the Birmingham Egyptology Journal.

Maria Michela Luiselli is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham with an expertise in personal religion in ancient Egypt. She was a Research Associate and Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Basel, Switzerland, where her research focus was the cult of the goddess Mut. In addition, she was formerly a research associate for the Eton Myers Collection at the University of Birmingham where she contributed to its inaugural Birmingham exhibition, Sacred and Profane at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.

Edward Mushett Cole is a Teaching Associate at the University of Birmingham in the Classics, Ancient History, and Archaeology Department. He recently completed a PhD in Egyptology at Birmingham reassessing the evidence for decline in the late New Kingdom to early Third Intermediate Period. Edward was a prominent member of the Rosetta Journal committee, serving roles such as articles editor and publicity officer from 2012-2016.

Sigrid Nilsson is an MA student at the University of Lund whose research focus is on 13th century Netley Abbey in Southampton. As a winner of the International Museums and Collections Award, she visited the University of Birmingham in the summer of 2016 where she volunteered at a variety of on-campus museums, including the Eton Myers Collection.

Brooke Norton is a PhD Candidate in Egyptian Archaeology at the University of California, Berkeley and her research interests include New Kingdom archaeology and cultural connections between Egypt and the Southern Levant. She received her MA from New York University, where she researched the archaeological contexts of Execration Texts.

Zara Shoosmith 

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