Egyptology was the key discipline in the development of archaeology and the modern understanding of ancient history. It remains central to a full understanding of the development of the ancient world.
The objects in the collection cover all periods of Ancient Egyptian history from the pre-dynastic Amratian culture of the Naqada period through the Old and New Kingdom dynasties to the Ptolemaic and Roman periods. The collection contains examples of objects such as pottery, shabtis, amulets, scarabs in addition to carvings, stela and other funerary equipment. There is a small collection of pre-dynastic pottery from el Amra.
The collection provides a good general selection of objects from many of the most important sites excavated by the Egypt Exploration Fund in the late nineteenth century. The sites include Abydos, Bubastis, Defenna, Deir el-Bahri, Dendera, Diospolis Parva, El Amra, Hawara, Herakleopolis Magna, Naukratis and Oxyrhynchus. The archaeologists involved in these archaeological digs were amongst the founding fathers of Egyptology and included Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie (1853-1942) and Henri Édouard Naville (1844-1926).
The collection contains pieces of national and international significance such as the mummy cartonnage from Herakleopolis Magna and the temple stone from the Great Temple of Bast at Bubastis. The collections are of ongoing relevance to researchers since they come from published archaeological excavations which means they have a broader context of discussion.