Young archaeologist curates Egyptian display at Blackburn Museum

Blackburn Citizen: Ryan Smith checks over his exhibits Ryan Smith checks over his exhibits

A BUDDING archaeologist from Blackburn has curated his own display called ‘A Journey into the Afterlife’, at Blackburn Museum.

At 14 years old, Ryan Smith is the youngest member of the Blackburn Egyptology Society, known as TheBES — the name of a city in Egypt, Claire Ollett, 23, from Knuzden, set up the society in November 2011 during her egyptology masters degree, and has been impressed by Ryan’s interest in the subject.

And Stephen Irwin, education officer at Blackburn Museum, where the meetings are held, said he is very focused.

In fact Stephen and Claire were so impressed with Ryan they arranged for him to do work experience for a week at the museum.

During his time at the Museum Street site, the St Christopher’s High School pupil was asked to research, and put together, an exhibition, which is on now.

Ryan said: “I’m really pleased with the exhibition. I looked at the middle kingdom and what items people wanted to take with them into the afterlife.

“I don’t know what it is about Egypt, but I have been hooked since my first lesson on it in year 5.

“I would love to pursue it and become an archaeologist if I can.”

Claire, who is now studying for a PhD, said: “Ryan’s done really well with the exhibition. He’s made a really good job of it and has got all the right objects. I’m really proud of him.

“He is our youngest member. He has been coming to the club for quite a while, and took part in our beginners’ hieroglyph course in the summer. He’s so keen.

“Fingers crossed he can pursue it like I’m doing.”

Mr Irwin said: “I am delighted with Ryan’s effort and hard work.

“He did his homework and got all the items right using the artefacts we had in the museum.

“Ryan initially came in to look at the museum’s Egyptian artefacts with his grandma.

“When he was looking round, I told him about the society and he has been coming along ever since.

“To see such commitment and interest from a 14-year-old is incredible.”

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