UCL Press


Scattered Finds: Archaeology, Egyptology and Museums

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Alice Stevenson | January 2019

Format: 234 x 156mm 
Open Access PDF
Pages: 326

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About the book

Between the 1880s and 1980s British excavations at locations across Egypt resulted in the discovery of hundreds of thousands of ancient objects that were subsequently sent to some 350 institutions worldwide. These finds included unique discoveries at iconic sites such as the tombs of ancient Egypt's first rulers at Abydos, Akhenaten and Nefertiti’s city of Tell el-Amarna and rich Roman Era burials in the Fayum. This book explores the politics, personalities and social histories that linked fieldwork in Egypt with the varied organizations around the world that received finds. Case studies range from Victorian municipal museums and women’s suffrage campaigns in the UK, to the development of some of the USA’s largest institutions, and from university museums in Japan to new institutions in post-independence Ghana. By juxtaposing a diversity of sites for the reception of Egyptian cultural heritage over the period of a century, this book presents new ideas about the development of archaeology, museums and the construction of Egyptian heritage. It also addresses the legacy of these practices, raises questions about the nature of the authority over such heritage today and argues for a stronger ethical commitment to its stewardship.

About the author

Alice Stevenson is Associate Professor of Museum Studies at UCL’s Institute of Archaeology. She has previously held posts as the Curator of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology and as Researcher in World Archaeology at the Pitt Rivers Museum. Her academic specialization is Predynastic and Early Dynastic Egyptian archaeology, but she has a written on a broad range of topics including the history of archaeology, anthropology and museums