A camera in a room with black walls and electric sockets on nearby. The camera's on a tripod, looking down at a piece of ancient Egyptian papyrus held between two sheets of glass

Small, buff-coloured pot with lug handles and red-painted spots

A camera in a room with black walls and electric sockets on nearby. The camera's on a tripod, looking down at a piece of ancient Egyptian papyrus held between two sheets of glass

Red-topped blackware

A camera in a room with black walls and electric sockets on nearby. The camera's on a tripod, looking down at a piece of ancient Egyptian papyrus held between two sheets of glass

Detail of a fish from a ceramic fragment

A camera in a room with black walls and electric sockets on nearby. The camera's on a tripod, looking down at a piece of ancient Egyptian papyrus held between two sheets of glass

A small, ceramic boat

A camera in a room with black walls and electric sockets on nearby. The camera's on a tripod, looking down at a piece of ancient Egyptian papyrus held between two sheets of glass

Tiny indentations from burnt-out straw in the surface of a beer jar

A camera in a room with black walls and electric sockets on nearby. The camera's on a tripod, looking down at a piece of ancient Egyptian papyrus held between two sheets of glass

Detail of holes in the top of a beer jar

Before Egypt is the Garstang Museum’s planned exhibition for 2019. Whilst I don’t yet know the details, I know the overarching theme is the Predynastic Period; the time before the pharaohs.

Although there’s a lack of objects such as papyrus and texts, decorated coffins, amulets and shabtis, there is an abundance of ceramics and vessels, siltstone palettes and flint tools. Whilst I’m still doing a lot of focus stacking, the photography’s different in other ways from that of the Book of the Dead exhibition. I don’t have so many motifs, hieroglyphs and illustrations to pick out, but I do have surfaces to play with. The ceramics, even when not decorated, having interesting surfaces, sometimes where inclusions have been burnt out during the firing process, or cracking and damage has occurred over the millennia. The pots themselves can also be interesting shapes, especially with the lug handles, which can make for some fun, abstract photos.

We’re hoping to create some extras for the exhibition this time, including a coffee-table photo book and some prints and fridge magnets to go in the gift shop.

The project is still in its infancy, and there’s so much more photography to do before next year. I’ll post regular updates using the Before Egypt tag listed here.