Meg Swaney is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Johns Hopkins University studying Egyptian Art and Archaeology. She also holds a master's degree in Museum Studies from New York University ('13), where her research focused on the ethics of displaying Egyptian mummies, as well as a bachelor's degree in Anthropology from the University of Chicago ('11).

Faience amulets

Description These three faience amulets were all likely found in foundation deposits from the mortuary temple of Queen Tawosret in Thebes, who ruled as an independent female monarch at the end of the 19th Dynasty (ca. 1188-1186 BCE). Such deposits were made prior to the consecration of a new building and contained the burial of votive […]

Metal Applicator

  Description This object can be identified as a kohl stick (cosmetic applicator) due to its characteristic shape; one end tapers to a point while the other flares in thickness towards a rounded end that would have been grasped while applying eye-paint. Kohl sticks, which could be made of metal–as is this example–wood, or stone, were used […]

Cosmetic Dish

Description This alabaster cosmetic bowl has a circular base with a flat, rounded rim.  Two duck heads rendered in profile protrude out from the rim, forming a handle. Each head is positioned at a slightly different angle, such that the neck of the rear duck forms a stronger oblique. In this way, the two heads are […]

Faience model vessels

Description In ancient Egypt a model of something was just as effective as the thing it represented, and Egyptians often opted to include models in their burials rather than full-sized–and perhaps sometimes more expensive–objects. Such models were frequently made of faience, a material which itself had a wide array of symbolic associations. The Egyptian word for […]

Funerary Statue

Description Though not part of this exhibition, this upper part of a composite statue was also the subject of recent study and technical analysis. The statue depicts a man from the waist up, with a square tenon for attachment to his lower body protruding from his torso. His arms are likewise formed from separate pieces […]

Kohl Pot

  Description This greenish-blue faience kohl pot has a form common to many Egyptian vessels used to hold cosmetics. It has a squat body that flares slightly at the foot and swells at the shoulders tapering in to a narrow neck with a flat, everted rim above. A hole drilled into the top of the vessel facilitated the storage […]

Wood and Ivory Kohl Tube

Description This kohl tube takes the shape of an elliptic cylinder with a groove extending the length of one of its sides for storing a small wooden cosmetic applicator (not exhibited). The dense, dark brown wood (likely ebony) is well-preserved, and its surface has a glossy sheen. The interior of the tube has a deep, […]

The Cohen Mummy

The Archaeological Museum stewards an ancient Egyptian woman whose skeletal remains are only partially preserved. Our recent study of this individual revealed surprising new insights that contradict earlier assumptions. She has been named the “Cohen mummy” because she was collected by Baltimore’s Colonel Mendes Israel Cohen in the mid-1830s. Cohen’s Catalog of Egyptian Antiquities identifies “no. 568” […]

The Goucher Mummy

This ancient Egyptian woman lived approximately 2400 years ago. Computed tomography (CT) scanning revealed she may have undergone a period of malnutrition or illness when she was young and her bones were still developing, as there are growth arrest lines on her leg bones. As an adult, she stood approximately 5 feet 4 inches in […]

Who Am I? Remembering the Dead Through Facial Reconstruction

The Archaeological Museum stewards collections of ancient Egyptian objects—and two ancient people—as a result of the collecting interests of Baltimoreans who traveled to Egypt in the 19th and early 20th centuries when such collections could still be removed from that country. These collections are named after their purchasers, including Dr. John Goucher, whose “Goucher mummy” […]