M.i.N.   Museums in the Nile Delta






The Archaeological Museum of Zagazig University /2  



Objects from the Bubastide Necropolis and from the Temple of Bastet


A large number of the museum’s exhibits have been recovered from the various ancient cemeteries as well as the great temple of Bastet at Bubastis (Tell Basta). Besides pottery vessels from nearly all pharaonic periods, there is also a large variety of funerary objects excavated in or near the still-preserved mud-brick “mastabas“ of the Old Kingdom and from other local burials.


Fragment of a Canopic jar made of faience

Face lid of a pottery coffin


A focal point of the museum’s current exhibition is a group of eighteen face lids belonging to pottery coffins (“slipper coffins“) of late New Kingdom date, some of which display grotesque facial features. Similar to more expensive, wooden anthropoid coffins they would originally have been painted with bright colours, though only traces of this former decoration are preserved. A variety of smaller funerary goods – shabti figures, amulets, scarabs and colourful faience beads belonging to necklaces – provide an insight into the burial customs and funerary beliefs of the ancient Egyptians at Bubastis. Some important objects were recovered in the Old and New Kingdom necropolises at Bubastis between 1981-1989, during a joint venture between the University of Zagazig and the Academy of Sciences of the former German Democratic Republic.


Necklace with flower pendants

Funerary statuette of But-gereg


In 1990, the tradition of German participation in archaeological work at Bubastis was continued by Dr. C. Tietze, who established the Tell Basta Project at the University of Potsdam. Excavations and restoration work then focussed on the area of the main temple of Bubastis which was mainly dedicated to the feline divinity Bastet. This goddess was usually depicted as a woman with lion’s head but also, as in some bronze figures, as a cat or a woman with cat’s head. Her cult culminated in great annual festivals. It is she who is depicted in two of the remarkable art works of the museum, a fragment of a quartzite temple statue and a well-preserved bronze figure which may have been a votive offering. During this period of Egyptian-German excavations a well belonging to the Roman Imperial Period was discovered in the central area of the Bastet temple. The finds from the bottom of this well included two block statue fragments. One of them is the extremely well-carved statue of Nefer-ka which dates to the reign of Amenhotep III (Dynasty 18, 14th century B.C.)  »Restoration Project.


Statue fragment of a lion-headed


Statue of an official of the Ptolemaic Period

Bronze statue of a cat 

Headrest of the late Old Kingdom















The Archaeological Museum of Zagazig University 

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Opening Hours:

By appointment only

Sunday–Thursday 9 am – 2 pm


The M.i.N. team has documented many of the objects on display in the Archaeological Museum of Zagazig University. The catalogue has been published in 2010.




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