Thematic Collecting

@ Manchester Museum


January 2015

Biblical migrations: Re-telling the Story of Exodus

Thoughts on migration from an Egyptological perspective

Egypt at the Manchester Museum

A modern view of Tell el-Maskhuta, the EEF's first excavated site A modern view of Tell el-Maskhuta, the EEF’s first excavated site

Migration is a central theme in the Biblical story of Exodus. Quite apart from the debated historicity of the account of the departure of Hebrews from Egypt, the story of the Exodus has played an important role in the popular perception of ‘Ancient Egypt’.

For many people who were aware of Pharaonic history in the 18th and 19th Centuries, much of their information derived from the Bible. This is a major reason why the Manchester Museum has such an important collection of archaeologically-sourced objects from Egypt. In 1882, an organisation called the Egypt Exploration Fund was set up to preserve the remains of Egypt’s ancient past through archaeological recording. The first site chosen for the Fund’s work was Tell el Maskhuta, in the eastern Nile Delta – believed to be a store-city mentioned in Exodus. An account of…

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Migration of people and plants to Manchester Christmas Market


One migration story I’ve been looking into is how plants get to the UK (either by accident or design). In December I decided to visit the Manchester Christmas markets  with David Gelsthorpe to see what people had brought along to sell.

First we went to see what horticultural delights had arrived from the Netherlands on the Dutch nursery stalls.


I decided to buy some bulbs to grow and add to the collection by pressing the flowers later in the year.


Then we found a lovely stall specialising in Greek herbs, herbal teas and honey.


Migration of people and minerals to Manchester Christmas Market



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