Egyptian Archaeology with the YAC

This post is about our volunteer’s activity with the Sheffield Young Archaeologists’ Club at Weston Park Museum. Our Archaeology in the City volunteer Kris is also a leader with the Sheffield YAC, and MA Archaeology student Kelsey joined in to see what the YAC was about.

In October the Museum opened a new exhibit called Secret Egypt: Unravelling Truth from Myth. The Sheffield YAC was allowed in for an exclusive tour, before the museum opened to the public!

The exhibit contained a mix of ancient Egyptian artefacts and modern pop-culture interpretations of them – models from Hollywood epics, magazine covers and artworks showing how we’ve created our own myths about Ancient Egypt over the last 100 years.

It was really impressive to find just how expert the young archaeologists already were on ancient Egyptian topics, and how good they were at picking fact from fiction.

After having a look at the exhibits we paid our respects to the resident mummy and then went upstairs to the education room to practice embalming on a mummy of our very own.

The education officer had “prepared one earlier” – luckily just made of cloth! The group practiced removing the internal organs with replica instruments, packing the body cavity with rags, and then wrapping the whole mummy up in bandages. We then made our own shabti out of paper-clay. A shabti is a model worker who would be entombed with the mummy, to do their jobs for them in the afterlife.

It was a great way to go behind the scenes at the museum – a huge thanks to the Weston Park museum education officers for the private tour of the gallery and giving the young embalmers a chance to sharpen their skills.

Archaeology in the City is looking forward to working with the YAC again in 2016!

(Featured image source: By Serge Ottaviani (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons)

Published by archinthecity

Archaeology in the City is the student-run volunteer outreach programme from the Department of Archaeology at the University of Sheffield.

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