Two exclusive exhibitions uncovering the secrets of Ancient Egypt open this September in Barnsley

Fascinating new stories about ancient Egypt will be uncovered at three exclusive exhibitions being launched in Barnsley, the first two this September and a third in October.

Designed and guest curated by Professor Joann Fletcher, Barnsley-born award-winning Egyptologist, visitors will have the opportunity to see a selection of artefacts, paintings and photographs from the ancient land of Egypt that have never been brought together before.

Each piece has been carefully selected by Joann from collections across the county to tell the captivating story of the four century relationship between ancient Egypt and Yorkshire.

‘Gods’ Land in God’s County: Ancient Egypt in Yorkshire’ will open at Experience Barnsley on Saturday, 23 September. The exhibition which is on display until Saturday 20 January includes objects relating to daily life, religion, mummification and the afterlife, with star items including a unique mask of the jackal god Anubis dating back to 380 BC, food, jewellery, an ivory-handled dagger and a golden death mask. The wide variety of objects not only gives a real insight into life in ancient times, but reveals the local men and women from many different walks of life who collected these artefacts and brought them back to Yorkshire.

Opening on the same day, just minutes away in the Cooper Gallery, is ‘From Sackville Street to the Valley of the Kings: The Art of Harold Jones’. Here visitors can see a stunning collection of watercolours and drawings by Barnsley-born artist and archaeologist Harold Jones, whose excavations in Egypt’s famous Valley of the Kings during the early C.20th are perfectly captured in his pictures of the mystical land which stole his heart.

Both exhibitions will launch on Saturday, 23 September with a free family fun day which happens across both sites, complemented by a packed schedule of events running over the next four months. People can also come along on launch day to take part in themed craft activities and have the opportunity to speak with Joann about the exhibitions and ancient Egypt.

Joann, who was born in Barnsley and is a professor in the Department of Archaeology at the University of York, has spent the last thirty years studying Yorkshire’s Egyptian past and now brings together the objects included in the exhibitions for the very first time. Never before seen in one location, they tell riveting stories that really will bring ancient Egypt to life.

A world authority on ancient Egypt from its pharaohs to mummification, Joann has published nine books and made numerous television appearances, in 2012 winning a BAFTA and most recently writing and presenting the 4-part series 'Immortal Egypt with Joann Fletcher' on BBC 2 (for which the Radio Times dubbed her 'Barnsley's Cleopatra').

Professor Fletcher said: “I can’t wait for visitors to see the exhibitions and the wonderful collection of artefacts and paintings that have been very kindly loaned by museums around the county and beyond. All the pieces, which are coming together for the very first time, give a real insight into the connections between Yorkshire and the amazing culture of ancient Egypt. We really want to bring this all to life, to dispel some of the misconceptions about ancient Egypt and above all reveal the numerous connections between ancient Egypt, ‘Land of the Gods’ and our ‘God’s Own County’ of Yorkshire”.

Cllr Roy Miller, Cabinet Spokesperson for Place, said: “We are extremely grateful to Joann for all her hard work, knowledge and expertise which have been so important in creating these fascinating exhibitions. For Barnsley to host these exclusive displays of objects is a real honor. I am sure people from all around the country will want to come and visit and find out more about such a captivating age.”

For more information about the exhibition visit

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