UCL News


Celebrating 100 years of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology at UCL

8 June 2015

On 7th June the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology celebrated one hundred years since first opening its doors at UCL.

Flinders Petrie at UCL To honour this milestone year the museum will be hosting a number of special events focusing on the characters behind this world class collection.

Leading the celebrations is the publication of 'The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology: Characters and Collections' by the newly formed UCL Press and launch of the accompanying exhibition, 'Characters and Collections' on 1st July. Both the book and exhibition focus on the stories behind the Petrie Museum's unique collections and the extraordinary characters whose lives are caught up in the museum's rich and varied history.

The characters highlighted include the adventurous Flinders Petrie, from whom the museum takes its name and who was once described by Lawrence of Arabia as "enormous fun"; Margaret Murray, an Egyptology lecturer at UCL and a significant influence on the development of Wicca; and Ali Suefi, Flinders Petrie's Egyptian right-hand man and discoverer of many of the museum's most prized objects.

The Petrie Museum houses more than 80,000 artefacts and is one of the largest and finest collections of Egyptian and Sudanese archaeology in the world. Some of the objects featured in the centenary book and exhibition include; prehistoric beads made from meteoric iron, funerary figurines recovered by Flinders Petrie from a dark, flooded burial chamber and texts from Sudan's ancient Meroitic civilization which no-one has been able to translate.

"The collection at the Petrie Museum has long been recognised as being of international importance, but it is its fascinating stories and alternative histories that we want to reveal", says Dr Alice Stevenson, Petrie Museum Curator. "The centenary is a chance for us to celebrate the museum's significance not just for Egyptian and Sudanese history, but also its relevance for a wide range of people and interests".

A series of events will run alongside the exhibition and the museum will launch its 3D website to coincide with the anniversary celebrations.

Flickr gallery of images from the book and exhibition:



  • Flinders Petrie at UCL in 1921 (Courtesy of Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology)

Media contact

Siobhan Pipa

Tel: +44 (0) 207 679 9041

Email: siobhan.pipa [at] ucl.ac.uk