New Ancient Egyptian Discoveries Just Keep Coming - The Solihull Observer

New Ancient Egyptian Discoveries Just Keep Coming

Solihull Editorial 9th Jan, 2024   0

Britain has had a fascination with ancient Egypt for well over a century, and while the nation’s exploits aren’t anywhere near as hands-on or colonial as they once were, we still grow up with a love of the old Egyptian ways. So, whenever something’s discovered in the desert, it tends to grab our attention.

In almost weekly blasts through the autumn months, we learned of the new excavations of queen Meret-Neith’s tomb, a mummified baboon skull that may have hailed from the lost region of Punt, a Cairo tomb filled with spells said to protect against snake bites, and, much closer to home, a lad in Scotland finding an ancient sculpture while digging for potatoes.

In the West Midlands, such discoveries certainly hold extra bearing. The storied ties to the earlier excavations of ancient Egyptian sites are perfectly reflected in local museums, art houses, and our very own Egyptology society. It’s why so many modern creations in the theme of ancient Egypt strike a chord with us, and why it’s easy to discover more about the fascinating civilisation and its myths in the local area.

Egyptomania still running strong

The British love of everything ancient Egypt hails back to the 1800s. Particularly during the unofficial occupation of the country from 1882, Victorians famously sought to discover the secrets of the incredible structures, delve into the tombs, mimic the creations back home, and take back much of what was found. Towards the end of the 19th century, pop culture was getting in on the fad, with books from Arthur Conan Doyle and Guy Boothby fanning the flames.

Now, it’s easy to find evidence of the longstanding interest in ancient Egyptian antiquities on the streets, in museums, and modern entertainment. A recent example, which you can still watch online, is The Prince of Egypt, the hit musical staged in London. The 143-minute live recording can be found on any digital media store for about £9.99 in HD or £3.49 if you’d rather rent it.

Perhaps the most popular recent creation, though, is a slot game. Online, the centrepiece of the free spins no deposit offer at one of the UK’s top online casinos is Rich Wilde and the Book of Dead. Very much playing into the classic Victorian adventurer aesthetic, newcomers get ten completely free spins on the slot. The aim of the game: unleash the full potential of the Book of Dead in its bonus feature.

Experiencing Egyptomania in the Midlands today

Of course, to get a quick buzz of Egyptomania, you could find the play, slot game, or stack of movies that all play into the theme. We’d recommend 1999’s The Mummy way ahead of the disastrous 2017 rendition of the same name. For a more hands-on and real experience, you don’t have to go far. The most prominent figure here is the West Midlands Egyptology Society. Based in Birmingham, they run monthly talks on the many topics of ancient Egypt.

Your next port of call will, naturally, be the museums and art galleries. The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery offers live online sessions that you can pay to enter on any weekday. There’s the Gallery Tour, Mummification Show, and the Object Handling Session, each of which lasts 45 minutes. Alternatively, you could stretch out to the East Midlands’ Leicester Museum and Art Gallery to peruse the four mummies and even the fragments of the Book of the Dead.

Egyptomania is alive and well, and with all of these discoveries ticking in, it’s easy to see why so many people will want to utilise the many modern ways of delving into ancient Egypt in the Midlands.


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