• Men packing crates of finds from excavations directed by Flinders Petrie. Date unknown. Petrie Museum archives.
  • Decorated clay vessel. From EES excavations at Tell el-Amarna, 1926-29, now in the Ashmolean Museum. AN1929.418.
  • Fragment of limestone stela from EES excavations at Deir el-Bahri now in the Petrie Museum. UC14390.
  • Flinders Petrie taking photographs on site. Petrie Museum archives.
  • Faience cup from EES excavations at Hu now in the Petrie Museum. UC18758.
  • Fragment of a wall painting. Excavated at Tell-el Amarna in 1891-92 and now in the Ashmolean Museum. AN1893.1-41 (267).
  • Distribution list for Abydos and Osireion excavation 1903.

From the 1880s to the 1980s official British excavations in Egypt resulted in the discovery of tens of thousands of artefacts. Many of these finds were distributed to nearly 325 institutions across the world before they were fully documented or published. This website provides the story behind this dispersal. It is a resource for museums, researchers, and the public so that these widely spread artefacts might be re-located and better understood. We also hope that material brought together here will allow people to discover and tell new stories about not just where these things came from, but also about their diverse afterlives since leaving Egypt.

This website is a work in progress and we will be continually adding and amending content until the end of 2017.

This website is a core part of the AHRC-funded ‘Artefacts of Excavation’ project (2014-2017). We are interested in exploring the relationships that were forged between people, objects, and places through a century of antiquities circulation. Archaeological finds have ended up in places we might expect, such as museums, libraries, universities and schools. But they have also turned up in more unusual locations: from masonic lodges to secondary schools, and from royal palaces to domestic garages. How did they get there? What did they mean in those spaces? What is their status and potential today? Through the information collected here, we hope that new connections will be made. In doing so we also aim to stimulate conversations between a variety of subjects and interests including history, geography, archaeology, anthropology, museology, and archival studies.