An Egyptologist has been honoured for devoting her life to research for Bolton Museum’s Egyptology collection.

Professor Joann Fletcher, an Egyptologist and an honorary visiting professor in the department of archaeology at the University of York, was awarded ahead of the talk at the museum on Wednesday evening.

Prof Fletcher researched the collection for almost 40 years, first coming to Bolton in 1988.

The Lotus Chalice award is named after the beautiful blue faience lotus chalice, from the New Kingdom, about 3500 years ago, that is in Bolton's collection.

The committee at the museum decided to award the first of these, which will be awarded each year, to Prof Fletcher, in recognition of her long standing and on-going support to the collection.

She said: “I was totally surprised and delighted to receive the award, which means such a great deal.

“Bolton's world-class Egyptian collection is very special indeed, so to have been allowed to work with it since 1988 has been a huge privilege for me and my colleagues.

“We're very much looking forward to continuing this research with the museum's fantastic staff and giving more talks and lectures for the museum and the Bolton Archaeology and Egyptology Society, including our day schools in July and September.”

Bolton Archaeology and Egyptology Society have been closely connected with Bolton Museum since they were founded in 1958, when they were originally named Bolton and District Archaeology Society.

In recent years the society have been very active in supporting the museum and its collections, particularly Egyptology and have directly paid for several pieces of the ancient Egyptian textile collection to be conserved, some of which are on display in the Bolton's Egypt galleries.

Prof Fletcher is recognised for her financial support as well, and has used her international platform to promote the museum and the collection.

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This continues the legacy of Amelia Edwards, who founded the Egypt Exploration Fund in 1882 and was responsible for the creation of Egyptology as we know it today, which led to the collection at Bolton.

Her Bolton counterpart was Annie Barlow, daughter of a local textile manufacturer. She was recruited by Amelia to help raise funds for the excavations.

Today, Prof Fletcher is the lead local ambassador for the Egypt Exploration Society, while curator Ian Trumble is the local ambassador for Bolton.