The exhibition “In the Shadow of the Pyramids” tells the story of the English archaeologist and Egyptologist Flinders Petrie’s excavations in Egypt in the years before and after the First World War. Petrie, who lived from 1853 to1942, was the first to illustrate and write down details of his discoveries of everything from pottery and rusty nails to mummies and complete statues. His methods were imitated by other archaeologists and thus Petrie is called the “Father of Archaeology”.
The exhibition “In the Shadow of the Pyramids” displays a number of tomb finds, fragments of statues and tomb and temple walls, which, through Petrie, came to the Glyptotek. Fresh knowledge and new links with other Petrie finds from, for instance, the British Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, are presented.
Visitors have the opportunity to get close to Petrie and his discoveries. One hundred years on, Petrie’s finds have achieved new significance such as when a crown with feathers and horns proves to belong to an impressive statue of the crocodile god Sobek.
Petrie’s excavations were supported by various foundations and museums, particularly in Europe and the USA. For many years the Ny Carlsberg Foundation was one of Petrie’s most generous sponsors. After each excavation campaign Petrie distributed his finds according to clear agreements with the Egyptian state. First the Egyptian Museum in Cairo was allotted the unique finds; thereafter Petrie was permitted to divide up what remained among the various sponsors, according to the extent of their contributions.
The Ny Carlsberg Foundation handed over its share of the finds to the Glyptotek. As a result, today, the museum holds over 200 of Petrie’s finest discoveries, some of which come from the ancient sites of Memphis, Meydum and Hawara.
The exhibition is supported by Queen Margrethe’s and Prince Henrik’s Foundation, Oticon Foundation and Atlantis Rejser.