The Doctor Will See You Now
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Help an Ancient Egyptian Physician Make his Rounds at the Hearst Museum
The Hearst Museum is gearing up for the 2016 reopening of our remodeled Kroeber Hall gallery. One of our goals is to highlight rarely- seen objects in our gallery space, such as The Doctor. This 2,500 year-old, three-ton coffin lid is from the burial of Psamtik, a chief physician in ancient Egypt. The lid is decorated with spells asking fifteen gods for protection, ensuring his name was remembered for his eternal afterlife. Given its size and weight, it is not currently accessible except for research requests and special visits.
Stone coffin lid (PAHMA 5-522), donated by William Randolph Hearst
The Doctor is part of the Hearst Museum’s impressive Egyptian collection, one of the largest and most important collections outside of Egypt. We believe that the research, teaching and public programming potential of what is the heaviest and one of the most impressive pieces in our collection of 3.8 million objects is significant.
Detail of the winged goddess Isis, meant to protect the spirit of the deceased
Aside from its visual appeal, The Doctor will serve as an introduction and bridge to:
Museum History - Early collecting, and importance of the Hearst family in founding the museum.
The Practice of Anthropology - Collecting objects, observing cultural practices and recording context to learn about diverse cultures, places and times.
A Research & Teaching Institution - The research value branches out into interdisciplinary studies, including Archaeology, History, Language, Religion, Art History, Digital Humanities and Museum Studies.
Collections Management - How we care for our collections and the behind-the-scenes activities of a museum, from documenting and conserving, to moving, storing and tracking.
Visitor Engagement and Community Outreach - To be located at the Hearst Museum’s new entrance, The Doctor will be a gathering point for visitors, and play a key role in K-12, campus- and community-facing programming.
We’ve checked with the structural engineers and the floor can hold the weight, and we’ve made a plan to move The Doctor from offsite storage to Kroeber Hall. Now we need to raise $20,000 to put the plan into action, including fabricating a new display mount, producing signage and an interactive digital display for a 3D model of the lid.
Thank you, and we hope you would be willing to consider making a gift to support our project to bring The Doctor to the public.
Visitors see The Doctor in storage
$5000 - transport the Doctor from our offsite storage to Kroeber Hall gallery
$5000 - build new display mount to support the sarcophagus
$5000 - design and install museum labels and didactic panels
$5000 - 3D model the artifact and build digital touchscreen interactive display
Detail of hieroglyphs from magical funerary spells, including the jackal god Anubis