Swansea labelled “part of writing history” with Egypt centre discovery

By Alex Evans

An exciting new discovery at Swansea University’s own Egypt Centre has been described as “part of writing history” by Egyptology students here at Swansea.

The discovery of a carving depicting Hatshepsut, one of Egypt’s few female pharaohs, was found by Dr Kenneth Griffin during a handling session. Amazingly, the University have had this artefact in storage for more than twenty years.

Swansea University Egyptology lecturer Dr Ken Griffin with the newly discovered artefact.

The object was requested for a handling session because of a black and white photograph with an interesting carving. Dr Griffin said that the discovery had “caused great excitement” and the item is now on display as pride of place in the Egypt centre. 

Deir el-Bahri Hatshepsut memorial

Hatshepsut was pharaoh from 1478-1458 BC, ruling over a period of peace and prosperity for Egypt. She also has a stunning memorial temple at Deir el-Bahri, which is considered a masterpiece of Egyptian architecture. Many of you may be wondering how this carving managed to stay hidden for so long – in reality, the carving of Hatshepsut portrays her as quite masculine, leading to some confusion which meant the artefact had not been recognised until now.

The discovery has been welcomed by many students here. Jamie Burns, an Egyptology student, said that the discovery “is something I will look back on when I am older as one of the most important moments in my study.” Another proud student, Aimee Vickery, said that “without the opportunity to handle the objects at the Egypt centre, it is unlikely that the discovery would have been made.”

More information about the Egypt centre can be found at www.egypt.swan.ac.uk, including their opening hours, so you can see this artefact for yourself.


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