A trip to visit friends in Oxford was the perfect opportunity to visit the Ashmolean Museum to see the newly renovated Egyptian galleries. With barely concealed excitement, I joined a crowd of people coming in from the wind and rain and headed straight to the Egyptian rooms like a well practiced homing pigeon! It was disconcerting not to see the colossal statues of Min in their old resting place, but on entering the galleries there they stood like old friends.
The galleries have been completely restyled and the result is a fresh and spacious atmosphere, clearly labelled and beautifully displayed. Though there were a lot of visitors there with me, it didn't feel crowded and we could all enjoy the impressive selection of objects without getting in each other's way.
The Ashmolean has added interactive displays to the visitor experience - videos, push-button exhibit aids and FREE electronic guides with headphones which made roaming the rooms all that more enjoyable. An enormous amount of thought and care has been taken in ensuring the exhibits are shown off to their best advantage - a point in case was a four piece mummy case, complete with mummy, which received gasps of joy from my fellow visitors (see below).
There is a huge selection of material to view - sculpture, mummies, mummy cases, jewellery, models, pottery, glass, stele and even a reconstructed building are all contained within the galleries. Photographing was allowed (without a flash), the staff were friendly and even the gift shop had undergone a wonderful make-over.
The only draw back was that I lingered so long there that I didn't have time to go to the Pitt Rivers!
I can absolutely recommend a visit to the Ashmolean Museum. There is plenty to see and do for both adults and children alike. It's a definite 'must see' attraction if in Oxford...I would even suggest it as well worth a day trip for those coming from further afield! Just make sure you have plenty of time to enjoy the experience...with everything on offer, you will need it!
My old friend, the Min statue!
The well displayed mummy and coffin pieces.
Well lit exhibits and clear labelling.
Spacious exhibit rooms with good viewing display cases.
Me making friends with one of the exhibits!