The museum is named after John Garstang, an archaeologist working in the first decades of the 20th century, particularly in Egypt and Near East.
He set up the Institute of Archaeology in Liverpool in 1904, and the archaeology departmental museum was named after him on the centenary of the establishment of his institute, in 2004.
Thursday 17 July 2014 was its official reopening; as an ex-student of the department, I couldn't possibly miss out.
The first face I saw when I walked through the door was that of my old Masters buddy, Gina Laycock, who, as curator, has played a large part in the redesign of the museum.
After losing about 20 minutes catching up with Gina and my ex-lecturer Steven Snape (who is also Keeper of the museum), I went for an explore. And boy, was I impressed!
The first gallery
You see several themed display cases, including one full of memorabilia from Garstang's digs and working history (see below).
There are some wonderful reproductions of tomb scenes and artefacts on the walls, and every display case is accompanied by a information panel, replete with clear and concise information about the theme of the contents.
All images in this post will pop-up larger versions when you click on them.
I really liked the stand it's been displayed on, which has allowed visitors to see both sides of the stela for the first time.
Death and the afterlife
It's a darker room, with grey walls and lower lighting, giving it a wonderful tomb-like feeling. You're met by the coffin of Userhat as the central piece of the room, with a stunning wall panel containing a reproduction of a tomb scene behind it.
The cases contain a fine assortment of artefacts, such as amulets, soul houses, statuettes and stelae. I was particularly struck by the funerary papyri with a page of the Amduat, and a cat mummy wrapped and put in a child's coffin.
Life in Egypt
That's not all, folks!
This does mean, of course, that I'm going to have to come back again (hooray!).
But, for now, here's a sneak peak of the final room:
However, when I saw what had been achieved, I couldn't be anything but hugely impressed. Such a lot of thought and hard work has obviously gone into the new museum. And several familiar faces made my visit all the better.
I think the rooms will continue to be my favourite place on campus.
At the moment, it's just open on Wednesdays, but they hope to be able extend these hours in due course.
You can also follow the museum online:
- On their website, at http://garstangmuseum.wordpress.com/, where you can also find out more about John Garstang and the history of the museum, as well as read more detailed information about individual objects
- On Facebook, at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Garstang-Museum-of-Archaeology/119121978129762?fref=ts
- On Twitter, at https://twitter.com/GarstangMuseum
Please do stop in, if you can; it's well worth a visit. I know I'll be back in again soon.