Flinders Petrie & the Discovery of Egypt

© Petrie Museum
© Petrie Museum
Courtesy of the Petrie Museum, University College London.
Courtesy of the Petrie Museum, University College London.
Stunning bead net dress, one of only two surviving in the world! Courtesy of the Petrie Museum - University College London
Stunning bead net dress, one of only two surviving in the world! Courtesy of the Petrie Museum - University College London
Linen tunic or dress from Tarkhan, Dynasty 1, c. 2800BC. Courtesy of the Petrie Museum, University College London.
Linen tunic or dress from Tarkhan, Dynasty 1, c. 2800BC. Courtesy of the Petrie Museum, University College London.

Location: Petrie Museum, London

  • Tour of the galleries of one of the world’s most important collections of Egyptian antiquities
  • Exclusive special access ‘behind the scenes’ at the Petrie Museum
  • View and handle ancient Egyptian artefacts
  • Small group of just 12

The Petrie Museum contains one of the greatest collections of Egyptian and Sudanese archaeology in the world, housing more than 80,000 objects, and yet remarkably few people are even aware of its existence. The collection tells the story of the Nile Valley from prehistory to the rise of the pharaohs to the time of Alexander the Great and beyond.

The Museum’s extensive array of everyday objects provide unique insight into daily life in Ancient Egypt. Much of the material comes from excavations conducted by William Flinders Petrie, one of the fathers of Egyptology - making the story of the Museum very much the story of modern archaeology itself. The day is led by renowned Egyptologist Lucia Gahlin, and features a rare chance to handle Egyptian artefacts - a very special and unforgettable experience.

We all very much enjoyed the day, which just flew past. Lucia was an excellent guide to the treasures and history of the museum. Handling the objects was a real highlight. Guest



  • Ancient Egyptians


  • Small Group

Itinerary 2019

Day 1

Morning: 10:00 am start

10:00 - Meet Lucia at the entrance of the Petrie Museum.
10:15 - We start with tea and coffee, and are then introduced to the museum and the people behind it.
10:45 - Enjoy the rare opportunity of handling and closely studying a variety of objects from ancient Egypt.
13:00 - We break for lunch at a local restaurant. Please be aware that the restaurant is a ten minute walk away.


14:45 -Take a guided tour of the museum’s important collection of ancient clothing - including the oldest linen tunic and one of only two surviving beadnet dresses. Further highlights include a range of materials excavated at the settlement sites of Tell el-Amarna, Kahun and Gurob, including funerary equipment and pottery.
16:45 - Disperse

What's Included

  1. Expert Guide Lecturer
  2. Lunch - Traditional Turkish lunch at local TAS restaurant
  3. Fact Sheet - Including background information about your Guide Lecturer, historical context for the Day, detailed itinerary, a suggested reading list and directions to the venue


Nov 16

Having the museum to ourselves in the morning plus a gifted and knowledgeable guide like Lucia made the day special. Being able to handle objects usually out of reach was very rewarding.

Guest, 2016
Nov 16

Having an enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide like Lucia who was able to bring the Petrie to life. The stories behind many of the artefacts were facinating and so something I would have found out if I had visited alone. it was wonderful to have the museum to ourselves in the morning and it was such a privilege to be able to handle a range of artefacts which gave us such an insight into Egyptian life and culture as well as being interesting in themselves.

Guest, 2016
Nov 16

Lucia's knowledge, passion and enthusiasm. Discovering the museum (unknown to me before), seeing so many amazing artefacts and handling some. As well as finding out about techniques used by ancient Egyptians I was unaware of.

Guest, 2016
Nov 1

Handling, observing and discussing the 'hands-on' objects. The Turkish lunch Discussions with Lucia

Guest, 2015
Nov 1

An Opportunity to study things normally unavailable with an excellent tutor and a good group of people with similar interest.

Guest, 2015
Jul 28

"It was my first visit to the Petrie - so what a treasure trove! I most enjoyed the actual handling of the objects. It is a great thrill to have in your hands something that dates back to middle kingdom Egypt. I appreciated the very personal introduction to the museum and being shown the most interesting treasures. This was an excellent day to prepare me for my own future visit to the museum and know what to look out for in more detail."

Guest, 2013
Jul 28

"I really enjoyed the object handling. It was a great experience to be able to look closely at items made thousands of years ago, and through them and Lucia's interpretations to be able to connect with the peoples and cultures which produced them. Being able then to look at other artefacts in the museum helped put it all into context. And the Petrie Museum is just wonderful: it's what I think a museum ought to be like..."

Guest, 2014
Jul 28

I enjoyed the chance to handle original material from antiquity. Lucia Gahlin was well-informed and an inspirational communicator, able to expound on any aspect of the subject that came up in questions, and to bring us up-to-date on the latest developments. I felt that we were getting in touch with the past in a way that would otherwise have been out of our reach. It was enjoyable to be with a small group of like-minded people with a common interest."

Guest, 2013

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What to expect 

  • An expert guide to accompany you throughout the Day
  • A mixture of lectures, practical demonstrations, handling sessions, guided tours and walks
  • Special access to museums, sites and galleries otherwise closed to the general public (where specified)
  • Small Groups 12-25 guests 
  • The company of like-minded people!
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Have a question or just want to find out more?

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2019 Study Day Details

Fri 6th September

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Led By: Lucia Gahlin

Guide Lecturer

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