Dr Melanie Pitkin was a Research Associate in Egyptian Antiquities at the Fitzwilliam Museum between January 2018 and January 2022. Whilst at the Museum, Melanie was involved in translating the hieroglyphic texts and describing the iconography of the coffin sets of Pakepu and Nespawershefyt, and making the Museum’s coffins research more accessible and engaging to diverse audiences. This was primarily through an online resource (www.egyptiancoffins.org), the development of a ‘Pop-Up’ Museum delivered in culturally underprivileged parts of the UK and Egypt, and training initiatives in coffin research methodologies and outreach with curators and conservators at the Egyptian Museum Cairo. Melanie was also a Postdoctoral Fellow on the 2019 AHRC Creative Economy Engagement project.
Since leaving the Museum, Melanie has taken up the position of Senior Curator of Antiquities (Nicholson collection) at the Chau Chak Wing Museum, University of Sydney. However, working in collaboration with the Fitzwilliam Museum, she continues to be actively involved in Egyptian coffins' research, as well as a broader study into the practice of modifying and re-using material culture in ancient Egypt. This includes an investigative study of modified and damaged funerary stelae from the First Intermediate Period, Melanie's time period of specialty.