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Flinders Petrie was fascinated by the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of the ancient world, so the museum attempts to answer key questions about the development of technology.

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One researcher unable to leave Egypt described it as ‘being able to hold a museum in your hand’.

The challenge is to use the limited space – both display and access, onsite and online – to best advantage.

Petrie was a pioneer of archaeological photography as well as ‘the father of Egyptian archaeology’ (photo: Petrie Museum archive PMF/WFP1/115/5/2).

The basic facts are that the Petrie Museum tells the story of the Nile Valley from Predynastic Egypt to the emergence of Islam, with 80,000 objects covering every period of life in Egypt and the Sudan.

The museum is full of acknowledged ‘firsts’ – with some of the earliest sculpture, metals, linen and complete garments to have been found in Egypt.

In addition, the Petrie holds the largest collection of Roman-period funerary portraits of any Egyptian collection outside the Cairo Museum.

In addition to providing an important teaching resource for a number of UCL departments, not just archaeology, the Petrie Museum welcomes children from London schools and hosts researchers from around the world.

Its touring exhibition to the USA, , attracted record audiences at each of its venues, and object loans are continually requested for international exhibitions (as I write there are loans out to major exhibitions in Berlin, Paris and Cambridge).

However, more intriguing to many are the everyday objects that humanise the past: the combs and hair curlers, razors and mirrors, costumes and jewellery that allow us to glimpse the way people lived.

A less visible but equally valuable resource is the wealth of archival material that supports the collection.

A QR-Scanner app for i Phone/i Pad allows the user to obtain information about specific objects in the collection by scanning adjacent QR codes.

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