June 2011

Over the last 3 months, conservators and curators from the British Museum and Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service have undertaken a joint project to uncover the secrets of an ancient Egyptian textile. The textile, a burial shroud, was bought by the Colman family (of Colman’s Mustard fame) in the late 1800s and then donated to the collections of Norwich Castle in 1921 where it has remained ever since, folded into a small bundle. Conservators from Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service and the British Museum worked together to open up the shroud to reveal its provenance, date and additional historical information through scientific analysis and conservation.

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In April the Conservation Department attended the Unveiling the Norwich Shroud Study Day at the British Museum. The study day was an opportunity for curators and conservators to talk about the methods and processes involved in such a task. For the Conservation Department, the study day represented the completion of an exciting skills sharing exercise that will undoubtedly contribute to further conservation projects.

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