Tom Hardwick is Consulting Curator of the Hall of Ancient Egypt at HMNS. He studied Egyptology as an undergraduate and postgraduate at the University of Oxford. He has worked as Keeper of Egyptology at Bolton Museum in the UK, as a researcher in the Wilbour Library of Egyptology in Brooklyn Museum, and as an Egyptologist in the Grand Egyptian Museum, Cairo, where he now lives. Tom is a specialist in Egyptian art, the history of collecting, and in the forgery of works of art.

From the Curator | Old Beads Get New Lease of Life

Most of the museum’s Egyptian collections are on display in the Hall of Ancient Egypt,  supplemented by loans from other institutions. What is kept in our object storage is generally material that’s not so exciting, well preserved, or important. For a long time, though, there was an exception: this mound of loose beads. Made of […]

Happy Egyptian New Year

The stale sticky days of high summer are upon Houston – and also Egypt (although the Egyptian summer has stayed mild so far). What time of year could feel less fresh? For the Egyptians, however, now was the start of the year, a time of new beginnings. Egypt, as no Egyptologist can avoid telling you, […]

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: An Egyptologists’ Take on Quarantine Hair

It’s been hard to avoid the online memes and gags about hairdos in the time of corona. Have you let it all go wild, or taken matters into your own hands? As it happens, something in the Hall of Ancient Egypt reminds us that the Egyptians had hair concerns of their own. And, as today, […]

A Whole New Amuletic World with Hall of Ancient Egypt Curator

While the Museum is closed I thought I’d share some photographs of objects in the Hall of Ancient Egypt that might not get as much attention as they deserve. These four little pieces, all under an inch tall, are today’s subjects for some time in the limelight. Concern for one’s place in an uncertain and […]

Raining Cats, Not Dogs: A Curator’s Take on our Updated Exhibit

Editor’s Note: HMNS Curator of the Hall of Ancient Egypt gives an insider’s look into a newly loaned piece on display.  A new loan in the Hall of Ancient Egypt is an arresting reminder of the fact that Westerners have been making myths (and fun) of Pharaonic Egypt for a very long time. Nineteenth century […]

Slipper Coffins Arrive in the Hall of Ancient Egypt

In my last blog post, I said that the Hall of Ancient Egypt would be cycling some pieces in and out in the spring. Now that the dust has settled, I should introduce one of our new arrivals. Two shadowed eyes stare out at us from a large, round face surrounded by a thick black wig with […]

Is Nefertiti still buried in Tutankhamun’s tomb? Archaeologists examine a new theory

Tutankhamun has been in the news again, following online publication of Nicholas Reeves’s article that suggests that Tut’s tomb may still be keeping a very big secret: the burial of the king who ruled before him, hidden behind the painted walls of Tut’s burial chamber. To cap it all, this mysterious predecessor, Ankhkheperure Smenkhkare, was probably […]

Cat Imposter: Guess what x-rays reveal about our feline mummy ‘fake-out’

In Cairo, I’m out of touch with what’s shown on TV, but I always know when something about Egypt has been broadcast. On slow news days, Facebook, Twitter, and my work email all light up with inquiries. In May, there was a mini-boom in Egyptian interest following a BBC programme  on animal mummies. The headlines promised to […]

All Tied Up – A New Addition to the Hall of Ancient Egypt at HMNS

Over the last couple of weeks, eagle-eyed visitors to the Hall of Ancient Egypt may have noticed that things look somehow different. If it’s not any bigger than before, the Hall is certainly better stocked than before – we have added something in the region of sixty new objects to the displays. Most of these come […]