Object Biographies and Political Expectations: Egyptian Artefacts, Welsh Heritage and the Regional Community Museum

Zinn, Katharina (2017) Object Biographies and Political Expectations: Egyptian Artefacts, Welsh Heritage and the Regional Community Museum. In: Proceedings of the XI International Congress of Egyptologists, 23-30 August 2015, Florence, Italy.

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This paper will give an insight in the particular problems of dealing with Egyptian artefacts belonging to the Cyfarthfa Castle Museum and Art Galleries, Merthyr Tydfil, Wales (UK) resulting from a cooperative project between the Museum and University of Wales Trinity Saint David, School of Archaeology, History and Anthropology, led by the author. Most of them had once formed the private collection of Harry Hartley Southey (1871-1917), son of a local south Welsh newspaper magnate. Commissioned by the museum to write the Welsh heritage of these objects, the author combines Egyptological methods with heritage approaches to enable the museum to prove its community outreach which secures the funding of the museum. By creating as detailed as possible object biographies from the time of production of the objects in ancient Egypt over the moment of collection in the late 19th and early 20th century AD to modern reception and understanding, the biographies have to focus on the ancient Egyptian life-cycle of these unprovenanced objects as well as the (modern) narrative in which we are embedding them by using archaeological and anthropological theory. Following the contesting meanings and several identities of these ancient Egyptian objects – and several replicas from the late 19th and early 20th centuries AD – the urgency to deal with heritage becomes clear, be it “our” or world heritage, tangible or intangible.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Egyptian artefacts, heritage, museums
Subjects: A General Works > AM Museums (General). Collectors and collecting (General)
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CB History of civilization
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
D History General and Old World > DE The Mediterranean Region. The Greco-Roman World
D History General and Old World > DT Africa
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Institutes and Academies > Institute of Education and Humanities > Academic Discipline: Humanities
Depositing User: Dr Katharina Zinn
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2018 11:49
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2020 10:21
URI: http://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/840

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