The Ashmolean’s collections from ancient Egypt and Sudan are among the most extensive in Britain, with approximately 50,000 objects representing every period of human occupation in the Nile Valley from prehistory to the 7th century AD. The major holdings derive from British excavations in Egypt conducted from the 1880s until the late 1930s. Oxford University excavations in southern Egypt and Sudan from 1910 onward added a representative collection of Nubian material. The Museum also houses over 8,000 ostraca covering all scripts and languages that have been used in Egypt.

Whitehouse, H. Ancient Egypt and Nubia in the Ashmolean Museum. (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2009)
Crowfoot Payne, J. Catalogue of the Predynastic Egyptian Collection in the Ashmolean Museum, with addenda. (Oxford: Griffith Institute and Ashmolean Museum, reprint, 2000)



Temporary suspension of special access/enquiries
Collections for Ancient Egypt and Sudan
1 January–23 April 2018

The reserve collections for Ancient Egypt and Sudan will be temporarily closed from 1 January until 23 April 2018 while the curator, Liam McNamara, is away on research leave and undertaking archaeological fieldwork at Hierakonpolis in Egypt. It will not be possible to provide access to the collections or respond to enquiries during this period. The permanent galleries, however, will remain open and unaffected.

We regret that any enquiries received during this period will not be answered and should be re-sent after 23 April 2018. The Department of Antiquities will attempt to facilitate all research requests and enquiries as soon as possible after the curator’s return. We recognise the international importance of these collections and sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this unavoidable suspension of access may cause.

Enquiries regarding photography for image orders and reproduction rights should be sent to the Picture Library.



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