How we made The Victorian Queens of Ancient Egypt
Rare intact mummy cartonnage brought back by Amelia Oldroyd (in Bagshaw Museum) All photos copyright Samira Ahmed. No reuse without permission. Have you ever wondered why ancient Egypt lives in so many museum collections across Britain? Not to mention Germany, France, the USA and other former colonial powers. Why it haunts our dreams and our films and since childhood our imaginations? Well that's the starting point for the documentary I made with Simon and Thomas Guerrier. The short answer is, because of Victorian collectors, several of them women, who went out to the Nile Valley hungry for adventure, fascinated by the beautiful, rich and complex world of the Pharoahs but also driven by a self-defined desire to "save" a worthy culture from the "primitive" present. With producer Simon Guerrier and archaeologist Heba Abd el Gawad (centre) The seed for this documentary was meeting and interviewing the remarkable Cairo-born Egyptologist Heba Abd el Gawad for Front Row. At the time