About a year ago, in May of 2018, the British Museum honored Barbara Mertz by opening a laboratory named in her honor. We thought readers might like to hear a little more about that. The lab was generously sponsored by Dr. Roxie Walker, a bioarchaeologist who is Director of the Institute for Bioarchaeology at the British Museum.
Friends, colleagues, and fans gathered for the joint celebration that marked the openings of the Mertz Lab and the Adams Research Lab. (One observer remarked that the group that attended to honor Mertz was considerably more rowdy — and costumed — than the others there … but that seemed in keeping with her memory!) Among the outstanding visuals were Dr. Walker as Anubis ….
Dr. Neal Spencer (seen above with Anubis!)… Dr. Salima Ikram as the Crocodile Lady (worshiper of Sobek?) …..
… and … why, is it Amelia and Nefret? (with Barbara’s daughter Beth in-between…) Actually, these intrepid members of the Mertz/Peters/Michaels (MPM) fandom family — known to us as AmeliaPeabodyEmerson and Amelia-Peabody-Book-Club on Tumblr — traveled to the UK from the US to join in the merriment!
Featured on the walls of the lab were a letter from the formidable Amelia B. Edwards — one of the inspirations for Barbara’s beloved Amelia Peabody character — as well as original artwork for the cover of The Ape Who Guards the Balance (featuring Thoth), one of the books in the Amelia Peabody series.
Barbara’s long-time editor, Jennifer Brehl, from HarperCollins was also in attendance, as was Barbara’s dear friend and Frederick Maryland bookseller Chuck Roberts of WonderBook. Chuck contributed our final picture from the London event — a martini with rosemary (as we all know, that’s for remembrance). The gathering featured hilarity and tears, quite a few toasts, and a robust gathering of Egyptology lovers. Thank you, Dr. Walker, for remembering Barbara in style!