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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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featured image for the tomb of the gambler post

The tomb of the gambler: a Liverpudlian legend

At the church of St Andrew in Rodney Street, Liverpool, sits a rather noticeably large pyramid tomb.

The tomb belongs to one William Mackenzie and legend has it that he’s buried sitting on a chair inside the pyramid holding a winning poker hand, as a way of cheating Satan after having lost his soul to him in a game of cards.

Unfortunately, the truth isn’t quite so glamorous.

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Girls’ day out to the new Egyptology gallery at the Atkinson, Southport

Friday, 24 October 2014 – the opening of the new Egyptology gallery at The Atkinson in Southport, and a date which had been in my diary since it had been announced.

Southport is only a 25-minute ride on the local Merseyrail train service for me, so with my three-year-old in tow (my girls are beautifully enthusiastic about museum visits!) and camera with a full charge and a clean memory card, we hopped on the train then made the three-minute walk from Southport station to the Atkinson.

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Opening day at the refurbished Garstang Museum

The main entrance to the Garstang, via the Egyptology department round the back of Abercromby Square Over the past couple of years, the Garstang Museum of Archaeology at the University of Liverpool has been going through a major redevelopment, including

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Flowering reed or reed leaf? A hieroglyphic puzzle

As part of some research I was doing, I needed to find a picture of the plant represented in the j hieroglyph (see right), otherwise known as the ‘yod’ or ‘yode’ (M27 in Gardiner’s sign list). Unfortunately, I hit a snag. Some of my language books, such as Gardiner himself, describe it as a ‘flowering reed’. Other books, such as Collier and Manley in their How to read Egyptian Hieroglyphs and James P Allen in his Middle Egyptian tome refer to it as a ‘reed leaf’.

So, what was I to look up?

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Egyptian transliteration: will it survive the digital era, or will it be replaced by Manuel de Codage?

This is a question which has popped into my head recently, possibly as a result of the problems I had with transliteration fonts on one of my typesetting projects.

With the ever-increasing presence of digital media such as ebooks and the Internet, and with the inevitable growth of older publications being digitised, the ability to properly render transliteration and other specialist fonts will become more of an issue in Egyptology.

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From the typesetter’s perspective: JD Ray, ‘Demotic Ostraca and Other Inscriptions from the Sacred Animal Necropolis, North Saqqara’

Hot off the presses, the Egypt Exploration Society’s latest publication – JD Ray’s Demotic Ostraca and Other Inscriptions from the Sacred Animal Necropolis at North Saqqara – is also my most recent typesetting project. It’s the fourth book I’ve set for the Society, and the first from their Texts from Excavations series (the previous three I’ve done are Excavation Memoirs).

It’s also the first language book I’ve set, so I was really quite excited when the job came through.

The book was a really interesting project for me to put together – both the content itself, and from a typesetting point-of-view. So, I thought I’d share my experience here.

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