Earlier this year, Maidstone Museum’s CUR8 youth group visited Brighton Museum as part of a project to start answering questions about teenage life in Ancient Egypt.
The group was able to explore the galleries and see how Brighton Museum had put its objects on display, as well as meet the museum’s curator, designer, and Learning Officer. This enabled the CUR8 group to find out how the museum went about designing its galleries and how they felt it all went. They were also able to discuss the interactive displays used and how the new gallery fits in with the educational offering.
A highlight for CUR8 and the accompanying museum staff was being able to practise their mummification skills on a life-sized doll.
On a sunny day in August, four excited youngsters and three enthusiastic CUR8 leaders were to be seen entering Brighton Museum (and taking many photos in a very tourist-y manner!). This was our first research trip for CUR8 and I, for one, was definitely looking forward to it.
Since we were research life as a teenage girl in Ancient Egypt, the first thing we did in the museum was to observe its spectacular Egyptian galleries. Fuelled by our curiosity about Ta-Kush – Maidstone Museum’s very own mummy and whom we are hoping to make a focal point of the new Egyptian gallery in Maidstone – we searched for answers to a number of questions:
What did she wear?
Did she work?
Where did she live?
This was my favourite part of the day – interesting and very helpful in terms of our research. This is also where the subject of my personal learning comes in – I didn’t know much about the daily lives of Ancient Egyptians; however, I found I had some fairly good knowledge of their mythology and gods. Did you know, for example, that the Ancient Egyptians worshipped thousands of major and minor deities?
After this, we entered a meeting room to talk with the people who had been in charge of Brighton’s new Egyptian gallery a short time ago. We had a very interesting discussion about how they made decisions regarding the gallery’s items, layout, size, and interactive displays; not everything could be integrated and making the choices was often difficult. As we listened to the story of how the gallery eventually came together, we thought about how we could add some of Brighton’s ideas to our own. This part challenged my preconceptions – I hadn’t realised quite how much work and thought had to go into creating the gallery – and how much we would have to do to create ours!
After a chatty lunch break, we headed back into the museum; this time we had another look around the interesting Egyptian galleries before proceeding to explore rest of the museum and its amazing exhibits.
In conclusion, I loved this day and took a lot from it. Thank you to Vicky, Roz, Lyn and Sam from Maidstone Museum for organising this enjoyable trip, and I look forward to the next.
Charlotte Pettett, 12, Invicta Grammar School
Fancy becoming a member of the CUR8 team? Our youth group is aimed at 12-24 year-olds and provides the chance to get involved in key projects at Maidstone Museum, as well as experience tours of other museums and much more. To find out more about becoming a member, simply complete and submit an enquiry form below.
Find out more about joining our youth group, CUR8
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