Writing for Eternity: Decoding Ancient Egypt

Tour schedule

Wrexham County Borough Museum 
19 June – 5 September 2015

Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery, Carlisle 
12 March – 8 May 2016

Salisbury Museum 
21 May – 3 September 2016

Abergavenny Museum & Castle 
16 September 2016 – 10 January 2017

Museum of Hartlepool 
21 January – 24 May 2017

Recommend this exhibition

Writing for Eternity tells the story of 4000 years of writing, featuring a fantastic range of hieroglyph and cursive writing on a wide range of materials, such as stone, wood, papyrus, linen, parchment, pottery and metal.

Ancient Egypt has provided us with literature, letters, songs, biographies, stories and prophecies, instructions, treaties, funerary and religious texts; written in hieroglyphic and cursive scripts representing four millennia of language evolution. Egypt was a literate culture long before the idea of writing reached Europe. Indeed, a vast amount of written evidence from Ancient Egypt has survived in the dry conditions of North Africa, to be excavated by archaeologists and studied by Egyptologists in museums and universities.

Writing is one of the most important inventions ever made by humans. By putting spoken language into visible, material form, people could store information and transmit it across time and space. It meant that a person’s word could be recorded and then read by others, decades, or even centuries later. Writing was the first information technology and it was revolutionary. Deciphering these scripts has allowed academics to start solving the mysteries of this ancient civilization.

Fragment of an Old Nubian literary text, EA82963