Discover Ancient Egypt


Free Entry

Monday – Saturday. 10am – 4pm.
Closed Sundays & Bank Holidays.
Plan your visit here.

Let us take you on a journey back to ancient Egypt

Our stunning Egyptology museum takes visitors on a journey through what life was like in ancient Egypt at the time of the Pharaohs. The museum showcases Mrs Goodison’s personal Egyptology collection in an intimate exhibition.

The Goodison collection is both varied and well preserved. It illustrates the rituals that were at the heart of Egyptian beliefs, as well as the creation of personal beauty and communication through language & imagery. The collection also tells us about everyday life and allows us to imagine life as an ancient Egyptian, rich and poor.

Visitors can see an intricately decorated coffin lid, the Mummy of Nes-Amun, a wooden Ba-bird and rare paddle dolls, amongst many other artefacts. Interactive displays include the ‘Weighing of the Heart’ ceremony, X-raying an Ibis mummy and a hieroglyphic jigsaw wall. Take part in our new A.R. experience, The Ba Bird Tour, bringing artefacts to life by scanning the QR codes in the museum with your phone.

The Ba Bird Tour

Take part in our new ancient Egyptian A.R. experience, bringing artefacts in the museum to life. To take part, scan the QR codes in the museum with your phone.

The Ba Bird Tour was created for The Atkinson by @dotrogersting


The museum is split into four themes of Ritual, Everyday Life, Beauty and Communication. Within each of these themes, discover a range of ancient artefacts.

Wooden figure of a Ba-Bird

Ritual – In ancient Egypt, gods were worshipped and rituals performed as part of normal life. Egyptians didn’t think death was the end of life, but the beginning of life after death, and people wanted to preserve their body for the afterlife. The wealthy could afford mummification and a tomb, decorated with of their past life, to contain their possessions. Poor people were buried in the sand which also has a preservative effect. Visitors can see Shabti Dolls that Egyptians believed would accompany them to the afterlife, and pottery lids from canopic jars that would have contained human organs needed in the afterlife.


Child’s leather shoes

Everyday Life – Most Egyptian people had a life expectancy of about 30 years, however wealthy people usually lived much longer. Life was hard for ordinary people who farmed. There were no cures for common diseases and lots of illness arose from bad teeth. Sand used in grinding grain found a way into other food, causing erosion of teeth and abscesses. The staple diet was bread and barley beer, people also ate fruit and vegetables, honey, oils, fish and meat (usually goat or lamb) when it was available. Visitors can see toys that would have been played with thousands of years ago and sandals that would have been worn.


Bronze ring inscribed with the name of Seth Lord of Nuby Dynasty

Beauty – Personal appearance was very important to Egyptians as it showed their status. The more important a person was, the more makeup and clothing they wore. Some aspects of appearance also had a practical purpose; using perfume covered unpleasant smells! Visitors can see objects that were used in the preparation of makeup, as well as jewellery that would have been worn.


Fragment of sandstone with double cartouche of Akhenaten, Tell el Amarna, Dynasty 18, c1360BC

Communication – Very few people could read and write in ancient Egypt, those who could were called scribes. They were usually boys and the sons of scribes who went to school and learnt hieroglyphics. More than 700 different pictures represented objects, actions, sounds or ideas and some stood for whole words. Visitors can see a scribal writing set and paint box (complete with paints) as well as Ostraca and steles.

Mrs Goodison’s Egyptology Collection

Anne Goodison was one of a handful of wealthy Victorian ladies in the North West who were fascinated by ancient Egypt. As the wives or daughters of wealthy industrialists, these women had financial independence. They could travel abroad and fund the work of archaeologists. They met explorers and made friendships with museum curators, sharing adventures and knowledge. Their passion for collecting enabled them to satisfy their curiosity and demonstrate their status in society.

Goodison Collection on display in Bootle Museum

Anne was married to a successful civil engineer, George Goodison, who devised the drainage system in the Everton area of Liverpool. EFC’s football ground was later named after him. Anne was a student of hieroglyphics and an avid collector of Egyptology. She put together a wide ranging collection which presents a snapshot of her view of Egyptian life and exhibited it in her own ‘Museum Room’ in her home in Waterloo, Liverpool.

Sadly Anne’s husband did not share her interest in the collection and he offered it for sale to Bootle Museum after her death in 1906 aged 61. Eventually it was purchased by a local man, Mr Davies, who had spent his working life in Egypt and who presented it to Bootle Museum. After the museum closed in 1974, the collection remained in storage until 2014, when Heritage Lottery Funding allowed The Atkinson to develop an Egyptology museum.

LEGO Animation

Locked in The Atkinson after hours, two visitors stumble into the Egyptology museum and awaken the mummy of Nes-Amun who transports them back to Ancient Egypt…

Created for The Atkinson by

Digital Activity: Gold and Grime

Discover the story of Ancient Egyptian treasures collected by Victorian women in the North West using our online resource Gold and Grime. Uncover extraordinary stories across five museums in the North West by clicking the image below.


In collaboration with Blackburn Museum, Towneley Hall (Burnley), Bolton Museum and Macclesfield Silk Museum.


Have a look at some of the incredible items on display in the museum. Please click the thumbnails to see the artefacts.

Museums for Learning

If you are a school or college, find out more about the variety of resources we have available. From loan boxes to plays, we will bring the museum alive for you. More information here.