A box of pottery, long-untouched and undocumented, has turned out to contain 'very important', numbered pottery, much of it dating from the Egyptian Middle Kingdom of 2040-1750 BC. The items were collected by the Egyptologist John Garstang at Esna, Upper Egypt, in 1905/6. The numbers on the pots refer to the tombs they were found in, making them valuable research tools. The pottery came to light after an assistant keeper in the Department of Ancient Egypt and the Sudan at the British Museum sent Hawick Museum a request for information on Ancient Egyptian collections held by local museums. Hawick Museum staff had suspected the pottery to be Egyptian but, until now, lacked written confirmation.
The discovery brings the Ancient Egyptian collection at Hawick Museum to more than 50 items. The British Museum has undertaken to date and explain the collection, which will be on display next year.
Shona Sinclair, Curator of Hawick Museum, said, "This is the final chapter in a long mystery story. We were always pretty sure that the pots were from Ancient Eqypt, but we had no idea they held such archaeological significance."
English archaeologist John Garstang (1876-1956) served as WM Flinders Petrie's field assistant in Egypt in 1899, and became Emeritus Professor at the University of Liverpool.
Information on the newly identified artefacts will be included in the Cornucopia website developed by the British Museum and the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology with funding from the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. The collection will also appear on a forthcoming website called Accessing Virtual Egypt, developed from Cornucopia.