Unique Egyptian Exhibition

13th October 2022

With this year marking the centenary of the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922, Barnsley is set to celebrate with a unique exhibition.

TUT’22: the Life of Tutankhamun will open at Experience Barnsley this month to reveal why this part of Yorkshire is such an important ancient Egyptian outpost.

Curated by Barnsley-born Egyptologist Prof Joann Fletcher, and over two years in the planning, TUT’22: the Life of Tutankhamun explores the young pharaoh’s life during the 14th century BC. 

With over 270 objects from Tutankhamun’s birthplace Amarna and related sites in Egypt, the exhibition will blend traditional artefacts with mesmerising new technologies, using augmented reality and 3D printing to lift the lid on the greatest archaeological discovery of all time. It will also feature the local people involved in the rediscovery of the famous ‘boy king’.

Prof Joann Fletcher said: “We’ll be resurrecting the world of Tutankhamun using artefacts from Amarna, the city where he was born and raised.

“It will be a sensory, immersive experience using augmented reality to tell the story of Tutankhamun, his life and his reign.”

The exhibition will focus on objects from Tutankhamun’s birthplace and other sites in Egypt, including replica busts representing Tutankhamun and his family. 

There will also be objects relating to Tutankhamun’s birth, the palace he grew up in, the kind of food and drink he ate, the types of clothes and jewellery he would have worn, his hairstyles, cosmetics and perfumes, as well as objects representing his childhood and education, and figures and images of the gods he worshipped. 

These are being loaned by Bolton Museum’s renowned Egyptian collection, first assembled by curators William and Thomas Midgley whose family came from Cawthorne, Barnsley. 

For over 3,000 years, no one knew the name Tutankhamun until excavations began at Amarna in 1891 and in the Valley of the Kings in 1905. Both were places where the Barnsley-born artist-turned-archaeologist Harold Jones worked, and his excavations in the Valley of the Kings uncovered some of the first clues to the location of Tutankhamun’s tomb. 

After Harold’s early death in 1911, his friends Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter built on his legacy and discovered the real tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922.

Jones, Carter and the Midgleys also share links to the artists and antiquarians within the Spencer-Stanhope family of Barnsley’s Cannon Hall. 

Joann said: “This collaboration between Bolton Museum and Barnsley Museums is unique.

“There are incredible links to Barnsley and stories that have never been told. It’s a local history story as well as an international story and it really will help us mark the centenary in a very special way.”

You can find out more about TUT’22: the life of Tutankhamun, which will run from October 22 to March 18 2023, here:

Unique Egyptian Exhibition