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  • Simon

The Petrie Museum Pot Burial

Found in the middle of the Petrie Museum "Pot Burial UC14856-8" is a shocking artefact. A damaged human skeleton, it really brings home the human life behind all the objects surrounding it.

Unlike many mummies, the skeleton in the pot doesn't have a name. It is known by its catalogue number. Dating from an earlier period than more famous Egyptian mummies, it has had a very varied post-excavation life. Damaged during World War II, it was repaired and then damaged again. Then in 1995 we found out that the skeleton belonged to a 2m tall man instead of a female as had been thought since it was excavated.

People are shocked by the skeleton or they ask whether such remains should be shown in public at all. I find it hard not to personalise the remains and I always wonder, when I come to the Petrie Museum, whether he is comfortable having been crouched in such a tight space for so long.


Simon has just joined the team of volunteers at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology as social media volunteer, and this is his very first post in this position (lucky us!) To find out more about the Petrie Museum, check the UCL Culture website: ; The museum has an online catalogue free of access:

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