The mummies and the grave goods are unsurprisingly getting lots of attention in the new Egyptian galleries opened last month at the Ashmolean in Oxford, but on a visit today it was the Nubian aspects of the collection that really got my attention.
Particularly the Meroitic pots – a style I don’t recall seeing before, of a much under-rated and under-covered civilisation (certainly Egyptian influenced, but very distinctive).
Also interesting in the technical sense were what are known as barbotine pots, which see a clay of a different colour to the base piped on to the pot. (They look very like shells embedded in the pot.)
At the centre of this gallery is the spectacular, room-sized tomb of king Taharqua, who was both a Kushite King and also pharaoh – the 25th Dynasty being a Nubian one.
The style, as you might expect, is much more Egyptian, as this detail of the relief shows.
Excellent to see such a stress on a little highlighted part of the ancient world.