Find out more about ancient Egyptian collections in City of Edinburgh, East Lothian, Midlothian and West Lothian, as well as National organisations.

City of Edinburgh

Museums & Galleries Edinburgh

The known Egyptian objects in the collection are currently on display in the Museum of Childhood, forming part of a display on dolls and figurines in different cultures. The most notable of these objects are the two Middle Kingdom wooden funerary figures; one depicting a seated male worker (likely a rower) and a nude female offering bearer. These objects were all collected by Edward Lovett (1852–1933), who built up a large collection of “dolls” from a range of cultures. 

Collections size: <5 objects 

National Museums Scotland

The Egyptian collection in National Museums Scotland is the largest in Scotland. As part of the Ancient Mediterranean collection, the collection includes a number of objects of international significance, and comprises of material from all periods of Egyptian history.

The origins of the collection are in the Museum of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, later National Museum of Antiquities – which was merged with the Royal Scottish Museum in 1985 to form National Museums Scotland.

  • Female coffin: an exceptionally tall coffin with decoration in the rishi-style. The lid has feathered patterning painted in blue with black details on a yellow ground. The owner’s face is framed by a striped linen nemes-cloth, a beaded collar with falcon terminals, and a vulture-pectoral.

    Female coffin: an exceptionally tall coffin with decoration in the rishi-style. The lid has feathered patterning painted in blue with black details on a yellow ground. The owner’s face is framed by a striped linen nemes-cloth, a beaded collar with falcon terminals, and a vulture-pectoral.
  • Gold Shebyu collar: consisting of four rows of gold rings threaded on a pad of fibre.

    Gold Shebyu collar: consisting of four rows of gold rings threaded on a pad of fibre.
  • Figurine of a hedghog in a marching pose, made of blue faience with the quills indicated by brown flecks: Ancient Egyptian, Middle Kingdom.

     Figurine of a hedghog in a marching pose, made of blue faience with the quills indicated by brown flecks: Ancient Egyptian, Middle Kingdom.
  • A.1914.1079 Pendant of gold depicting an “upside-down catfish”, with an unknown core (possibly copper alloy) and a ring for suspension in its mouth: Ancient Egyptian, excavated by Petrie in Tomb 72 in Harageh Cemetery A, Late Middle Kingdom, 12th Dynasty, c.1862-1750 BC .

     A.1914.1079 Pendant of gold depicting an “upside-down catfish”, with an unknown core (possibly copper alloy) and a ring for suspension in its mouth: Ancient Egyptian, excavated by Petrie in Tomb 72 in Harageh Cemetery A, Late Middle Kingdom, 12th Dynasty, c.1862-1750 BC .
  • Coffin of the estate overseer Khnumhotep, son of Nebtu, made of wood painted white with three horizontal yellow mummy bands and the face gilded: Ancient Egyptian, from Deir Rifeh, Middle Kingdom, second half of the 12th Dynasty, c.1940-1760 BC.

    Coffin of the estate overseer Khnumhotep, son of Nebtu, made of wood painted white with three horizontal yellow mummy bands and the face gilded: Ancient Egyptian, from Deir Rifeh, Middle Kingdom, second half of the 12th Dynasty, c.1940-1760 BC.
  • One of sixteen pottery mould-made shabtis contained in a rectangular shabti box made of wood: Ancient Egyptian, Late Period.

    One of sixteen pottery mould-made shabtis contained in a rectangular shabti box made of wood: Ancient Egyptian, Late Period.
  • Footboard of wood, from cartonnage coffin or mummy-case, depicting the Apis bull carrying the mummy of the deceased, named as Pamiu, striding over the desert towards a pyramidal tomb: Ancient Egyptian, from Thebes, Upper Egypt, 3rd Intermediate Period, 22nd Dynasty, Osorkon III, 790-762 BC.

    Footboard of wood, from cartonnage coffin or mummy-case, depicting the Apis bull carrying the mummy of the deceased, named as Pamiu, striding over the desert towards a pyramidal tomb: Ancient Egyptian, from Thebes, Upper Egypt, 3rd Intermediate Period, 22nd Dynasty, Osorkon III, 790-762 BC.
  • Painted wooden statuette of a ba-bird, with the body in the form of a falcon and the head in human form: Ancient Egyptian, probably from Akhmim, Late Period.

    Painted wooden statuette of a ba-bird, with the body in the form of a falcon and the head in human form: Ancient Egyptian, probably from Akhmim, Late Period.
  • Wreath of twelve gold-foil leaves attached to a ring of copper, found on the mummy of Montsuef: Ancient Egyptian, excavated by A.H. Rhind in the tomb of Montsuef at Sheikh Abd el-Qurna, Thebes, Early Roman Period, c9 BC.

    Wreath of twelve gold-foil leaves attached to a ring of copper, found on the mummy of Montsuef: Ancient Egyptian, excavated by A.H. Rhind in the tomb of Montsuef at Sheikh Abd el-Qurna, Thebes, Early Roman Period, c9 BC.
  • Statuette in bronze of Osiris, standing mummiform with Atef-crown and sceptres, and with seperate wooden base: Ancient Egyptian, from Saqqara, Lower Egypt, Late Dynastic Period, 664-332 BC.

    Statuette in bronze of Osiris, standing mummiform with Atef-crown and sceptres, and with seperate wooden base: Ancient Egyptian, from Saqqara, Lower Egypt, Late Dynastic Period, 664-332 BC.
  • Lid for an anthropoid wooden coffin, plastered and painted, of a child, Tairtsekher, daughter of Irtnefret: Ancient Egyptian, possibly from Deir el-Medina, New Kingdom, early 19th Dynasty, c.1292-1200 BC.

    Lid for an anthropoid wooden coffin, plastered and painted, of a child, Tairtsekher, daughter of Irtnefret: Ancient Egyptian, possibly from Deir el-Medina, New Kingdom, early 19th Dynasty, c.1292-1200 BC.
  • Mummy-mask of gilded and painted linen and plaster cartonnage, depicting Montsuef wearing a lappet-wig: Ancient Egyptian, excavated by A.H. Rhind in the tomb of Montsuef at Sheikh Abd el-Qurna, Thebes, Early Roman Period, c.9BC.

    Mummy-mask of gilded and painted linen and plaster cartonnage, depicting Montsuef wearing a lappet-wig: Ancient Egyptian, excavated by A.H. Rhind in the tomb of Montsuef at Sheikh Abd el-Qurna, Thebes, Early Roman Period, c.9BC.
  • Votive statuette in the form of an ibis, the body made of calcite and the head and legs of bronze: Ancient Egyptian, Late Period.

    Votive statuette in the form of an ibis, the body made of calcite and the head and legs of bronze: Ancient Egyptian, Late Period.
  • Box of cedar wood with ebony veneers and ivory inlays and gilding depicting the god Bes and bearing the cartouches of Amenhotep II: Ancient Egyptian, New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, c.1550-1295 BC.

    Box of cedar wood with ebony veneers and ivory inlays and gilding depicting the god Bes and bearing the cartouches of Amenhotep II: Ancient Egyptian, New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, c.1550-1295 BC.
  • Double coffin of two half-brothers, Petamun and Penhorpabik: Ancient Egyptian, Upper Egypt, Thebes, late Roman Period, c.175-200 AD.

    Double coffin of two half-brothers, Petamun and Penhorpabik: Ancient Egyptian, Upper Egypt, Thebes, late Roman Period, c.175-200 AD.
  • Gold finger-ring, incised on the top with the name of Queen Nefernefruaten-Nefertiti: Ancient Egyptian, Middle Egypt, Amarna, probably the Royal Tomb, New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, reign of Akhenaten, c.1353-1336 BC.

    Gold finger-ring, incised on the top with the name of Queen Nefernefruaten-Nefertiti: Ancient Egyptian, Middle Egypt, Amarna, probably the Royal Tomb, New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, reign of Akhenaten, c.1353-1336 BC.

 

National Museums Scotland is home to material excavated by Alexander Henry Rhind, a Scottish archaeologist who conducted the very first archaeological excavations in Egypt. His most important find was an intact tomb which had been used for over a thousand years. The museum later began to support excavations in Egypt; as such it received distributed objects from the Egypt Exploration Society [Fund], British School of Archaeology in Egypt, the Egyptian Research Account and UNESCO. The Roman-Egyptian funerary material is particularly strong, including the only known double coffin from ancient Egypt, several mummified individuals from Hawara and a well-known mummy-portrait of a woman known popularly as ‘jewellery girl’. The collection also contains the intact burial of a royal woman, which includes an impressive coffin and exceptional selection of gold jewellery.

A number of objects from the collections were transferred to other museums in the mid-1950s, including; Paisley, Durham, Liverpool and Sydney. A new, permanent gallery Ancient Egypt Rediscovered opened in early 2019, displaying nearly 700 objects from the collection in brand new ways.

Collections size: >6000 objects

National Trust for Scotland

National Trust for Scotland cares for around 300,000 objects held in over 50 properties across Scotland. This ranges from archival material to decorative art and furniture. During a collections review, colleagues at NTS identified a handful of modern scarabs, produced for the booming tourist market in the late 1800s to early 1900s.

Collections size: <5 objects known

University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh 

The University of Edinburgh holds a number of collections across its academic departments and its Museums and Galleries service. The Anatomical Museum holds a collection of human remains built up in the mid-late 1800s. The University Library Special Collections care for eighteen papyrus documents from Oxyrhynchus and a small number of faience shabtis.

The Vere Gordon Childe collection within the School of History, Classics and Archaeology contains over 100 objects, many of which were collected by Childe directly. As such, the Predynastic Period is well represented through lithics and some of the only known examples of Badari Culture ripple ceramics in the country. 

Please note: No public display of the Egyptian material currently 

Collections size: >160 objects 

West Lothian

Linlithgow Museum (Linlithgow Heritage Trust)

This community museum tells the story of the town from the time of Mary Queen of Scots to today. During the current review, two faience shabtis of a man called Nespautitawy were identified. They were donated to the museum by the descendants of an Abercorn schoolmaster, Christopher Dawson, who used his collection to teach his pupils.

Collections size: <5 objects

Ancient Egyptian Collections in Scottish Museums

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