Recordings will be made available for those unable to attend the live sessions!

Have you ever wanted to improve your understanding of the ancient Egyptian and Sudanese objects you see in museum displays?

This course will take 5 different ‘common’ archaeological object types from ancient Egypt and Sudan, frequently represented in museum collections around the world, and investigate them in lots of different ways. Points for study will include object manufacture, materials, and uses, while also looking into their modern museum contexts. Each session will be dedicated to a particular type of ‘ordinary’ object, and we will investigate how they’re made, and why, and look into practical considerations such as how these object types are recorded in the field and displayed in the museum.

Participants will gain a good understanding of some of the most commonly represented object types from Egypt and Sudan in museum collections, and it is hoped that after this course, participants will gain greater confidence when they visit a museum, or even on their first archaeological field project, to better understand what they’re looking at.

This course will be open to all with a passion for ancient Egyptian and Sudanese heritage and material culture, as no prior knowledge is necessary.



Dr Anna Garnett is the Curator of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian and Sudanese Archaeology, UCL, and has worked at several local, national and university museums in the UK over the past two decades. She earned her PhD from the University of Liverpool and works as a Field Archaeologist in Egypt and Sudan. Her research interests include the reconciliation of Egyptian and Sudanese object assemblages and archives, the history of archaeological funding in Egypt and object distribution in the late-19th and early 20th centuries, and object- and archive-based teaching.

Course Outline

Please note that main content will be delivered between 18:00-19:30, though some optional participation (quizzes, Q&A, etc.) may continue beyond that time. 

Thursday 25th May, 18:00-19:30 (UK time)
Week One - Pottery
We will begin the course by exploring the history, technology and use of the most common object type from the ancient Nile Valley – pottery vessels. While they may all seem alike, every pot tells a different story

    Thursday 1st June, 18:00-19:30 (UK time)
    Week Two - Beads and Amulets
    Almost every museum with an ancient Egyptian collection will have small amulets and beads. Here we will assess the evidence for different types of these objects, including a deep dive into stone working and faience technologies.

    Thursday 8th June, 18:00-19:30 (UK time)
    Week Three - Stone Tools
    Stone tools like hand axes and arrowheads have been made and used in the Nile Valley for thousands of years. In this class we will find out why, exploring different types of tools and what they can tell us about ancient lives.

    Thursday 15th June, 18:00-19:30 (UK time)
    Week Four - Basketry and Textiles
    The craft of making cloth and basketry from natural fibres was perfected in the ancient Nile Valley and is still practiced widely in Egypt and Sudan today. Here we will study the technology of textile production and learn how baskets were produced and used. 

    Thursday 22nd June, 18:00-19:30 (UK time)
    Week Five - Shabtis
    Shabtis are perhaps the most recognisable type of object from ancient Egypt! Find out how they were produced, why they were made in such huge numbers, and decode the different elements in their design to understand more about their function.

    Recordings of the live sessions will be made available to attendees following the weekly session for those unable to attend in person. 


    Members of the Egypt Exploration Society can book at a heavily discounted rate. If you’re not yet a member but would like to join in order to receive this discount, then please ensure that you have already joined here. Subscriptions from members include a donation to support and promote Egypt’s cultural heritage. If you are a Cairo Associate, then please contact our Cairo Office to reserve your discounted tickets: [email protected] 

    Register for your place in advance using the links below. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the course. Links for joining the event will be sent by email. If you do not receive your email, then please check your junk folders before contacting the Egypt Exploration Society. The course will be held on our Zoom platform and attendees will be able to interact by asking questions, using the chat and polls. It is not necessary to have a working webcam or microphone for this course. The online course will be complemented by Google Drive, where resources will be uploaded.

    Please ensure that you have read our guide to attending EES online events before the course begins.

    Book a place

    Ticket Quantity Price

    EES member - 50% discount

    Decrease Increase £60.00


    Decrease Increase £120.00

    EES student associate

    Decrease Increase £30.00