Marta spent a month based at the Trust’s Kensington house in August 2019.
I cannot stress enough how stimulating and productive my stay in London was. Thanks to the generous support of the Robert Anderson Trust and the hospitality of Dr Christopher Naunton and other residents of the Kensington house, my time in London was fruitful in terms of my research, but also a great experience.
In my PhD dissertation I am analysing the reuse of Theban tombs in the Third Intermediate Period and Late Period (ca. 1069-332 BCE). This slightly overlooked chapter of the history of the Theban necropolis, postdating the ‘classical’ era of usage of the cemetery (New Kingdom), only recently has started to gain scholarly attention. Very often finds and features datable to the late dynastic times were omitted from the early excavation reports. The only source of information available to archaeologists are archives, where mentions of these later objects sometimes can be found. During my stay in London I was able to examine the unpublished archive of the Robert Hay expedition to Egypt (1824-1834), kept at the British Library, in search for such mentions.
Apart from that, I spent time in the library of the Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan at the British Museum. The large collection of Egyptological literature, mostly unavailable in Poland, and the easy access to books (without limiting the number of items used at once, or the necessity to order them in advance and then wait for delivery), made it possible for me to complete my catalogue of tombs – a task which otherwise would take months required for arranging interlibrary loans.
Finally, with the kind assistance of the Petrie Museum staff I was able to examine several unpublished objects from excavations in Thebes.
I am extremely grateful to the Robert Anderson Trust for the opportunity to visit London, and strongly recommend it to any scholar conducting their research on ancient Egypt. The possibility to spend a month in the libraries and museums of London (with accommodation in a hundred-year-old house, in one of the nicest, greenest neighbourhoods in the city – two streets away from the place where Agatha Christie wrote Death on the Nile!) is invaluable. Worth mentioning is also that the Trust has its own library, available to the visitors, with a collection of books on Egyptology – one does not have to leave the place to learn about Egypt!
Very warm thanks are due to all the people who made my time in London such an unforgettable experience.