Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology

Museums , History Bloomsbury Free
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© Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL
The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, set up in 1892 by eccentric traveller and diarist Amelia Edwards, is named after Flinders Petrie, tireless excavator of ancient Egypt. Where the British Museum's Egyptology collection is strong on the big stuff, the Petrie is dim case after dim case of minutiae. Its aged wooden cabinets are full of pottery shards, grooming accessories, jewellery and primitive tools. Highlights include artefacts of from the heretic pharoe Akhenaten's short-lived capital Tell el Amarna. Among the oddities is a 4,000-year-old skeleton of a man who was buried in an earthenware pot. Wind-up torches help you peer into the gloomy corners of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology.
Venue name: Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology
Address: Department of Egyptology
University College London
Malet Place
Opening hours: 1-5pm Tue-Sat
Transport: Tube: Russell Sq/Euston Sq
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James Manning

I love the Petrie Museum, but weirdly it doesn't even feature in most of the 'secret London museums' guides – perhaps because it doesn't have any big headline exhibits like the Horniman walrus or the Elephant Man's skeleton. It's just an old-school museum (think Year 8 school trips) that's absolutely crammed with fascinating artefacts in wood-and-glass cases. If you're anything like me you'll emerge blinking and newly obsessed with ancient Egypt.

Lisa Ellan

Went there with six friends and my family... it was awesome!!! Never knew that there exists such a mysterious place, especially the collections are amazing!!