Before Egypt exhibition

Before Egypt was an exhibition focusing on the Predynastic and Early Dynastic era of ancient Egyptian history; the time before pharaonic rule.

The exhibition was curated by the Garstang Museum of Archaeology and hosted by their sister museum the Victoria Gallery and Museum in 2019. It featured objects from both their collection and others around the UK.

The objects I photographed for the exhibition aren’t like those you’d usually imagine when you think of ancient Egypt. My subjects were predominantly ceramic and stone pots, along with flint and stone tools, ivory figurines, beads and greywacke cosmetic palettes.

Read more posts about the Before Egypt exhibition.

All photos are © Julia Thorne. Please don’t just take my photos, but if you’d like to use any in a lecture, presentation or blog post, please drop me an email via my contact page. If you share them on social media, I’d appreciate a link back to this site or to one of my social media accounts. Thanks!

an ancient egyptian flint knife
Fishtail flint knife. Composite image made from 30 photos using focus stacking and exposure bracketing. Photographed over a lightbox [Garstang Museum of Archaeology E.6560 | Acc. No. E.6560 | 12.5 x 8.4 cm]
the front of an ancient egyptian ivory figurine
Ivory dwarf figurine. Composite image made from 23 photos using a macro lens and focus stacking [1st Dynasty | Naqada Royal Tomb | Garstang Museum of Archaeology | Acc. No. E.5183 | 2.1 x 1.2 cm x 0.7 cm]
the back of an ancient egyptian ivory figurine
Ivory dwarf figurine. Composite image made from 22 photos using a macro lens and focus stacking [1st Dynasty | Naqada Royal Tomb | Garstang Museum of Archaeology | Acc. No. E.5183 | 2.1 x 1.2 cm x 0.7 cm]
ancient egyptian greywacke knife
Greywacke knife, with the blade in the form of a bird's wing. Composite image made from 15 photos, using focus stacking and exposure bracketing [Hierakonpolis T30 | Garstang Museum of Archaeology | Acc. No. E.616 | 26 x 3.8 cm]
detail of a small stone carved ancient egyptian crocodile
Greywacke carving of a crocodile. Composite image made from 69 photos using a macro lens and focus stacking [Early dynastic | Hierakonpolis ?343T (Town?) | Garstang Museum of Archaeology | Acc. No E.620 | 2.5 x 7 x 2.7 cm].
an ancient egyptian ivory amulet
Ivory (probably elephant) amulet in the 'bull-head' form, with inlaid eyes. Composite image made from 19 photos using a macro lens and focus stacking [Naqada II | Garstang Museum of Archaeology | Acc. No. E.5254 | 2.3 x cm]
an ancient egyptian ivory label with hieroglyphs
Ivory label of Hor-Aha. Photographed using a macro lens [Naqada Royal Tomb | 1st Dynasty | Garstang Museum of Archaeology | Acc. No. E.5116 | 4.5 x 3.6 x 0.3 cm]
an incised serekh on a piece of ancient egyptian quartz
Detail from a fragment of an early dynastic quartz bowl with part of a serekh. This detail is a few mm wide. Composite image made from 74 photos using focus stacking and a macro lens [Garstang Museum of Archaeology | E.2539 | 8 x 12 cm (whole fragment)]
an ancient nubian ceramic pot
Decorated imported pot. Composite image created from 38 photos using focus stacking [A Group | Koshtamna 100 K06a | Garstang Museum of Archaeology | Acc. No. E.3045 | 25.2 x 17 cm]
an ancient egyptian flint tool
Crude bifacial knife. Composite image made from 15 photos using a macro lens, focus stacking and exposure bracketing [1st Dynasty | Naqada | Garstang Museum of Archaeology | Acc. No. E.5118 | 17.7 x 3.1 x 1 cm]
an ancient egyptian agate arrowhead
Agate arrowhead. Composite image made from 16 photos, using a macro lens and focus stacking, photographed over a lightbox [Garstang Museum of Archaeology | Acc. No. E.617 | 1.6 x 0.5 cm]
an ancient egyptian predynastic bird-headed palette
Small palette (front) with two bird heads and hole for suspension Naqada II | Garstang Museum of Archaeology | 6 x 3.7 cm
an ancient egyptian pot with wavy handles
Wavy handled pot. Composite image made from 40 photos using focus stacking [Predynastic period | Garstang Museum of Archaeology | Acc. No. E.6857 | 24.7 x 14.8 cm]

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