The Museum of Classical Archaeology is filled with sculptural expressions of the human form, including many heads. In a small case near the entrance are four broken terracotta figurines from Naukratis, a Greek trading post in Egypt. These figurines have been suggested as having features which might indicate individuals of African heritage – features which are not often seen in other sculptures from the classical period. Who were they? The figurines were made from a mould so presumably lots of these figures were made. By whom? For what purpose? Sadly, we don’t know much more.

Rather than re-tell or verbally extend the information already given in the captions about these figurines, we decided to complement it with a (hopefully!) thought-provoking collection of sounds. In the soundscape, we wanted to explore the circumstances of these heads – what they symbolise(d), how they were made, used and broken, and what they might tell us about Greek life in Egypt. We invite the listener to reflect on the themes of identity, power, and expression which we ourselves were occupied by during the two-day programme.


Written by Kiki Bordean, Heidi McEvoy-Swift and Katrina Dring with the help of the Museum Remix and wider UCM teams
Read by Kiki Bordean, Heidi McEvoy-Swift, Katrina Dring, Ruchika Gurung and Barney Brown.


This audio was created as part of Museum Remix 2023, coinciding with the University of Cambridge Museums’ programme of Power and Memory.