The Petrie Museum is one of the finest small museums I have visited. I have seen many Egyptian collections before (London has plenty scattered around) but few are as detailed, diverse and with such a high level in quality and quantity. The hieroglyphics of the masonry are not blurry and worn as in others I have seen but sharp and defined. Necklace beads with their hieroglyphics are clear and it is amazing to think they were done by hand. Vases and pots of many designs are whole and colourful and show no visible signs of damage or wear. Rare examples of Egyptian cloth and paintings were on display, some of the first examples I have seen from such a period. There are multiple drawers in many of the display cabinets as well containing further items for you to see.
I could go on about all the parts that impressed me but hopefully the sampling I have given above will entice you to come and see the museum for yourself. The museum is on the UCL (University College of London) site and there are plenty of maps around the campus to mark out where the museum is. It is straight down the road from Euston Square underground tube station, about a five minute walk, and just over five minutes from London Euston train station. There are several cafes nearby, such a Costa Coffee in a Waterstones near the museum as well as cafes on the site of the university open to the public.
It is open in the afternoon 1pm to 5pm and is free admission to anyone, quite surprising considering the wealth and quality of the items on display. You can spend at least an hour looking around everything on display and there are computers available to view images of the items on display and other items not out in the cabinets, allowing you to zoom in for closer looks at the details of the items.
Considering the museum is open in the afternoon, I would recommend a leisurely afternoon sightseeing trip, taking in the other UCL museum, the Grant Museum of Zoology; Pollock’s Toy Museum; or the British Library, which are all nearby and in easy walking distance. The Petrie Museum is relatively unknown to the tourist masses that visit the big attractions in London, so you are guaranteed a visit where you won’t have to be rushed and a quality one that is worth your time.
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