Re-joining and reconstructing objects

Fragile objects are subject to break and repair from their creation, excavation and display. Sometimes, objects can become separated from pieces they were buried with, or were even attached to.

This figure of an Egyptian king with hawk’s wings was once considered to be an image of the ruler Menkaure. Some doubted it was genuine because it was so unusual. Research by Dr Tom Hardwick and Dr Christina Riggs suggested that this was an authentic ancient object. They identified a similar piece in the Manchester Museum that had been excavated and could be dated to the reign of Pharaoh Thutmose III, an ancestor of Tutankhamun’s. The example in Manchester was a lower part of a statuette, so there’s a chance the Petrie UC16020 is the top half!

For ninety years, the whereabouts of two limestone lions Petrie excavated at Koptos were unknown. Former curator of the Petrie, Barbara Adams, re-discovered them in the 1980s, but they were in several thousand fragments. Conservator Richard Jaeschke painstakingly reassembled the surviving pieces in two reconstructions of these 5000-year old sculptures.