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Repairing papyri in Photoshop

Repairing papyri that have sustained damage over the millennia using Photoshop is something I want to spend some time doing on this project. Whilst employing a conservationist to take the papyri out of their glass containers and reassemble them is a costly and time-consuming affair, using Photoshop to digitally reassemble pieces is much less so (and more fun for me, too).

The process of repairing papyri
So, what is it I’m doing when I’m repairing papyri? The purpose is to pull together and realign broken sections. The example I’m using here is from a copy of the Amduat from the Garstang Museum. The Amduat was a funerary text whose contents showed the nighttime journey of the sun-god through the underworld. This particular copy belonged to a lady called Tjaty from the 21st Dynasty of ancient Egypt (1077–943 BC).

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At the Garstang: first session photographing the Book of the Dead

Last week, I had my first proper session in the photographic suite. I spent the day in near darkness, photographing a couple of pages from the Book of the Dead.

But why were you in near darkness?, I hear you cry. Because of my arch-nemesis: reflections.

The papyri are encased in sheets of glass, which were cleaned beautifully by some of the museum interns before I photographed them. However, the now extra-clean glass was was extra shiny, and therefore extra reflective. Although the walls and ceiling in the suite are painted black, even low amounts of light were reflecting off the light fittings in the ceiling back down onto the glass.

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At the Garstang: setting up photographic equipment and taking some test shots

I had my first session at the Garstang on Wednesday. It wasn’t a proper session, per se, but one for reviewing logistics and taking a few test shots. My first project with the museum is to photograph some papyri for Gina, so I wanted to test out my photographic equipment on them. I also got to go down to the photographic suite and see how the equipment there could compliment/enhance what I already have.

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Photographing Egyptology at the Garstang Museum

The Garstang Museum of Archaeology is the departmental museum for the School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology at the University of Liverpool. The university’s where I studied Egyptology, so it’s a place close to my heart.

I’m so excited to share with you that I’m going to be getting my hands dirty at the Garstang with some photographic projects. The curator, Dr Gina Criscenzo Laycock, and I studied for our Masters together, so it’s been really great to catch up with an old friend and get the opportunity to start this project.

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Google Noto: a typeface collection with hieroglyphs

In a quest to try to harmonise the ever-disparate collection of technologies that we use to connect on the internet, Google have developed what may be the most comprehensive collection of typefaces yet. Under the umbrella name of Google Noto, the aim of the collection is to include every unicode symbol ever (for free).

They say:

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‘Animal Mummies Revealed’ at the World Museum: behind the scenes

Having completed its stint at Glasgow, the Animal Mummies Revealed exhibition opened on 14 October 2016 at the World Museum in Liverpool. I visited the exhibition when it was on at the Manchester Museum last year, and was really looking forward to following it up again at the World Museum and seeing how it looked in a different exhibition space.

Curator Ashley Cooke very kindly arranged for me to come in for a couple of hours while the exhibition was being set up to get a few behind-the-scenes photos to share with you all. It really was just a snapshot of a small part of a process that had taken several weeks, but what I saw was just fascinating.

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‘Meroë: Africa’s Forgotten Empire’ exhibition at the Garstang Museum

Friday, 13 May 2016 was Light Night in Liverpool; a night when the city of Liverpool comes to life with family events, late-opening museums, libraries and galleries, and a whole host of arts-based fun. For the past two years, the Garstang Museum of Archaeology taken part in Light Night. Last year, they welcomed the Garstang Mummy back to the museum after a sixty-year sojourn in the Department of Anatomy. This year, Light Night was the opening night of the exhibition, Meroë: Africa’s Forgotten Empire.

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Dr Robert Connolly and the Garstang Mummy

Dr Robert Connolly is an anatomist at the University of Liverpool who assisted with the anatomical work done on the mummy of Tutankhamun back in the 1960s as a grad student, and has carried out a significant amount of research on Egyptian mummies since then.

Back in May 2015, I went to listen to him speak about his research on mummies over the years, as part of the Liverpool Egyptology Seminars at the University of Liverpool. It was a fascinating talk, and he’s a wonderfully witty speaker to boot. He talked about Tutankhamun, in particular the conclusions he drew on the circumstances of his death, from an anatomical point-of-view (he concurs with the theory that Tutankhamun fell out of a chariot and was hit front-on in the chest by the following chariot).

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STORE UPDATE DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS

As of 26 March 2020, the print-on-demand company I use for the items in my shop are having to cease working temporarily due to disruptions in their supply chain.

You can still buy things from my shop, but your order won’t be fulfilled until my printers are back in operation.

If you choose to buy something during lockdown, your order will remain with the printers, and I’ll keep you updated throughout.

I’m gutted to have to tell you this, but so many of us are having to make changes to our lives and to our businesses for the next while.

Thank you all so, so much for your support x