In the Shadow of the Pyramids

The English archaeologist Flinders Petrie is at centre stage at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, with the exhibition, “In the Shadow of the Pyramids”.

The Father of Archaeology

The exhibition “In the Shadow of the Pyramids” presents the work of the English archaeologist and Egyptologist Flinders Petrie’s excavations in Egypt.

Petrie, who lived from 1853 to1942, was the first to illustrate and write down details of his discoveries, and thus he is known as the “Father of Archaeology”.

Among the features of the eccentric Petrie’s life are that he lived in a rock-cut tomb and had Lawrence of Arabia as an assistant.

Pieces in a jigsaw puzzle

The exhibition ”In the Shadow of the Pyramids” will present fresh knowledge and new links between the Glyptotek’s collection and other Petrie discoveries, which are now displayed in the British Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and other collections.

The exhibition will present a number of tomb discoveries, fragments of statues and tomb and temple walls, which came through Petrie to the Glyptotek. Visitors can get close to Petrie’s discoveries when, for instance, a tomb painting with leopard tails and a relief with the snout of a crocodile have now been subjected to closer examination.

The Ny Carlsberg Foundation

Petrie’s excavations were supported by various foundations and museums, particularly from 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 the other shares between the various sponsors, according to the extent of their contributions.

The Foundation handed over its share of the finds to the Glyptotek. As a result, today, the museum possesses over 200 of Petrie’s finest discoveries, some of which come from the ancient sites of Memphis, Meidum and Hawara.