The Collection of Egyptian antiquities
The Collection of Egyptian antiquities at the MCH includes larger items such as mummy coffins and smaller objects such as mummified animals, wooden figures, bronze and ceramics, ushabtis, pottery, grave goods, scarabs, jewelry, flint arrows, textiles and papyri.
Egyptian sculpture. Photo: Museum of Cultural History, UiO / Ellen C. Holte
The majority of the objects in the Collection of Egyptian antiquities at the MCH is a gift from King Oscar II of Sweden-Norway. Oscar II and several other European heads of state had received antiquities from the Valley of the Kings after the astonishing discovery of the rich pharaonic graves. The transfer from Egypt happened in 1893, at a time when the Egyptian state possessed enormous quantities of Egyptian antiquities that needed to be taken care of and conservated, and decided to share the responsibilities of the objects with states that had well established museums. Already the following year Oscar II had made sure that the Ethnographic Museum in Oslo had received one half of the Egyptian donation, which today composes the bulk share of the Egyptian Collection of the Museum of Cultural History. The remaining part has basically been added as donations from private collectors that visited Egypt in the early 20th century.