VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: World's 'oldest fish supper' revealed at Ancient Egypt in Yorkshire exhibition in Barnsley

The world's oldest fish supper - believed to be 3,500 years old - has gone on display in the heartland of fish and chips as part of a new Ancient Egypt in Yorkshire exhibition in Barnsley.

The dish fit for King Tut includes a well preserved Nile perch fish, original marrowfat mushy peas and a bread cake.

It's all part of Ancient Egypt in Yorkshire, a stunning and unique collection of tomb treasures, paintings and photographs brought together for the first time from all over the county, at three free entry Barnsley museums.

The fish supper is part of a Gods’ Land in God’s County display of artefacts now open to the public until January 20 at Experience Barnsley, the town's museum, based inside the town hall.

It features iconic, priceless mummy remains, a sarcophagus coffin, a 380 BC Anubis mummifying ritual mask, a golden death mask, an ivory-handled dagger, fashion items, home furnishings.

But the oldest fish supper, in a food and drink cabinet with a wine jug believed to be from Tutankhamun's palace, is proving to be a real catch of the day.

World's oldest fish supper - a Nile perch fish, mushy peas and bread dated at 3,500 years old. Photos: Scott Merrylees.

It has been included in the exhibition by BBC TV's BAFTA award winning Egyptologist and guest curator Joann Fletcher.

"One of the most unusual things we have is probably the world's oldest fish supper," she told us in an exclusive chat - watch the full video interview at the top of this page.

"We have a preserved fish, a Nile perch, some wonderful marrowfat peas. And they are marrowfat, the original mushy peas. The bread is 1,500 BC, so that's like 3,500 year old bread for a start.

"I couldn't get the chips because they didn't have potatoes in Ancient Egypt, sadly. But we've got everything but the chips. No curry sauce either, but that's a minor detail. So who knew. You've got to imagine Tutankhamun eating a fish supper."

Prof Joann Fletcher face to face with the priceless Anubis mask. Photos: Scott Merrylees.

WATCH GUIDED TOUR: Check out our Facebook Live tour of the exhibition with BBC TV's Egypt expert and exhibition curator Joann Fletcher - CLICK HERE.

Barnsley born Joann, who is also a York University archaeology professor now living in Scarborough, who began her own journey as a little girl excited about the subject after picking up a library book in Barnsley, is hoping to inspire others with the three exhibitions.

From Sackville Street to the Valley of the Kings: The Art of Harold Jones, a collection of watercolours and drawings by the Barnsley born 19th century artist turned archaeologist, capturing his excavations in Egypt’s famous Valley of the Kings, is now also open, until January 6, at the town centre's Cooper Gallery.

Resurrecting Ancient Egypt: A Monumental Yorkshire Journey, from Barnsley's Locke Park Tower to the pyramids of Castle Howard and Leeds’ Holbeck temple, is a photo exhibition of monuments inspired by the architecture of ancient Egypt with Kyte Photography, at Cannon Hall Musuem, from Saturday, October 28, until February 18.

An iconic sarcophagus mummy's coffin from Harrogate Museums and Arts. Photos: Scott Merrylees.

Themed craft activities are planned and visitors have the opportunity to speak with Joann about the exhibitions and ancient Egypt. For full details visit

The wide variety of objects not only gives a real insight into life in ancient times, but reveals the local men and women from many different walks of life who collected these artefacts and brought them back to Yorkshire.

Joann has spent the past 30 years studying Yorkshire’s Egyptian past is a world authority on ancient Egypt from its pharaohs to mummification.

She has published nine books and made numerous television appearances, in 2012 winning a BAFTA and most recently writing and presenting the four-part series Immortal Egypt with Joann Fletcher on BBC 2.

She said: “I can’t wait for visitors to see the exhibitions and the wonderful collection of artefacts and paintings that have been very kindly loaned by museums around the county and beyond.

"All the pieces, which are coming together for the very first time, give a real insight into the connections between Yorkshire and the amazing culture of ancient Egypt. We really want to bring this all to life, to dispel some of the misconceptions about ancient Egypt and above all reveal the numerous connections between ancient Egypt, ‘Land of the Gods’ and our ‘God’s Own County’ of Yorkshire.

Prof Joann Fletcher. Photos: Scotrt Merrylees.

"If you love ancient Egypt come here and see these exhibitions. These three exhibitions really do showcase the wealth of Ancient Egyptian related material here in God's own county. So the land of the Gods comes to God's own county."

Coun Roy Miller, Cabinet Spokesperson for Place, said: “We are extremely grateful to Joann for all her hard work, knowledge and expertise which have been so important in creating these fascinating exhibitions. For Barnsley to host these exclusive displays of objects is a real honor. I am sure people from all around the country will want to come and visit and find out more about such a captivating age.”

For more information about the exhibition visit

MAKE A DONATION: Entry is free to all three Ancient Egypt in Yorkshire exhibitions but Barnsley Museums and Heritage Trust, a new charitable trust set up to raise funding and support for the town's five museum venues of Experience Barnsley, Cooper Gallery, Cannon Hall, Elsecar Heritage Centre and Worsbrough Mill, is encouraging donations and is also inviting people to sign up for free membership - visit

Joann inspects a beautiful ancient dagger from Sheffield Museum. Photos: Scott Merrylees.

An Ancient Egyptian sandall still caked in mud from a walk down the side of the Nile thousands of years ago. Photos: Scott Merrylees.

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