Tucked away in the Special Collections area at Queen’s is one of the College’s greatest treasures – the Dodgson Collection of Egyptian Antiquities. The collection belonged to Wesleyan minister the Rev. James Davy Dodgson and was bequeathed by him to Queen’s College upon his death in 1892.  It is made up of over 100 individual items, including bronze figurines, faience beads and amulets, ceramics, shabtis, papyri, fragments from wooden and cartonnage coffins, inscribed material, and a selection of fifty-four fragments of textiles dating from the Pharaonic to the late Roman and Coptic periods. The item perhaps best known to Wyverns is the so-called “Dead Hand of Queen’s”: a mummified hand wrapped in its original linen bandages. Twenty five items from the Dodgson Collection are currently on display in a new exhibition – Mummymania – showing at the University of Melbourne’s Ian Potter Museum of Art until 17 April 2016.
This fascinating exhibition focuses on the figure of the Egyptian mummy and its changing role in ancient and contemporary culture. From its original role in ancient Egyptian funerary practice, the mummy has been a figure of popular fascination at public un-wrappings, a malevolent Hollywood horror-figure, and, more recently, the subject of medical and scientific research. Mummymania explores all of these aspects of the mummies’ long history with materials sourced from the University of Melbourne Classics and Archaeology Collection, the Anatomy Museum, Museum Victoria, the Australian Institute of Archaeology, Monash University’s Centre for Ancient Cultures and, of course, the Queen’s College Dodgson Collection.  The mummified remains on display have been treated respectfully, and with careful reference to Egyptian afterlife beliefs, by Curator Dr Andrew Jamieson.
Egyptian collection
5. Mummified_Hand
Egyptian collection
9. Cartonnage_Panel_01
A mummified hand. Egypt, date unknown.
Mummy collar made of faience beads, 46.2 x 11.5cm. Egypt, Late Period, c.664-332 BCE.
A cartonnage panel, 9.2 x 13.4 x 0.2 cm. Ptolemaic Period, 332-30 BCE.

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