Light Night opening of the Book of the Dead exhibition

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After numerous hours in the photographic suite, many more vying with Photoshop, followed by several weeks of nail biting, hoping my photos would make the grade, finally, we got there. The Book of the Dead exhibition opened at the Garstang on 19 May 2017 as part of Liverpool Light Night.

Some lovely little demons and gods on the floor – made from my photos – welcomed us into the building and guiding us to the museum.


A girl walking down the entrance hallway. There are demons copied from photos of papyri along the floor
Netherworld demons guide visitors into the exhibition


We’d got there about half an hour after the museum had opened for the evening. It was so busy, I could hardly get through the door into the exhibition room.

We squeezed in started to have a look around.

It was bloody marvellous!

A temporary display wall divides the room and provides more exhibition space. It moves visitors around the room, showing coffin panels, amulets, pages from funerary texts and the like. All around the walls, accompanying the artefacts and information panels are my photos of the papyri.


The exhibition. There are three panels from an ancient wood coffin on the left side, with a case containing amulets just before it. On the right are some enlargements of my photos of papyrus. There are several people in the room, looking at the objects.
Coffin panels, amulets and some of my photos


A young girl standing in front of a case of Egyptian amulets.
It can be a tough job, trying to pick a favourite amulet …


A woman and two men looking at a wall-mounted papyrus. They're deep in conversation.
My mum getting a personal Q&A session with Roland


There’s a Lake of Fire at the end, with flames made with fans, lights, and pieces of fabric.


A young girl sitting on the floor playing with a pretend flame made out of fabric with a fan blowing it up into the air and light shining through it.
Playing in the Lake of Fire


Around the second side of the room are lots of my photos, some more artefacts and a corner in which to weigh your heart against the feather of truth.


Several enlarged photos of demons, gods and animals along the wall.
Some more of my photos


Visitors milling around and looking at papyri and other artefacts in the exhibition.
Lots of people came in to see the exhibition


Two girls standing in front of two of the enlarged photos of papyrus.
My girls admiring some of my photos


Two girls standing in front of a set of scales. On one side is a large ostrich feather. On the other side, the girls are putting copies of Egyptian hearts.
My girls weighing their hearts against the feather of truth. Apparently they’re both going to hell …


The children loved it, especially the Lake of Fire, the heart weighing station and the mummy amulet jigsaw. They also loved the new dressing-up corner in the main museum (as did some of the not-so-little-kids …).


A man and woman in dress-up Egyptian headdresses. They laughing and posing for the camera.
Let it never be said that Egyptologists don’t know how to have fun …


I have to say that I was so excited to see the exhibition, and very impressed indeed. I was really happy to see my photos looking good (really happy!). But, they were just one part of a beautifully designed and produced exhibition. I must extend a big congratulations to Gina, to Roland, and to everyone who was involved in the hard work. Well done!


The Book of the Dead exhibition is open over the summer. The Garstang Museum’s open on Wednesdays between 10am and 4pm. I urge you to go if you’re in the area.


All photos on this site are © Julia Thorne, unless otherwise credited. Please contact me if you see anything you’d like to borrow.

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2 Responses

  1. […] had a bit of a break from photographing artefacts while the Book of the Dead exhibition was being put together, I started back at the Garstang a couple of weeks […]

  2. […] exhibition itself is in a single room, like at the Garstang. It is, however, different in several ways, […]

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