Department of Antiquities

Ancient Egypt and Sudan

The Egyptian collections of the Ashmolean are among the most extensive in Britain, and they represent every period of Egyptian civilization from prehistory to the 7th century AD. Predynastic Egypt is a notable strength. The first objects arrived in the Museum in 1683, the year of its foundation, but the major holdings come from British excavations in Egypt from the 1880s until the late 1930s. Oxford University excavations in Southern Egypt and Sudan from 1910 on added a representative collection of Nubian material. The Department also houses extensive collections of papyri, ostraca, wooden labels and writing boards, including the Bodleian Library’s ostraca collections.

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