SHE'S discovered the mummy of the most important woman in Ancient Egyptian history - but is now banned from conducting expeditions in the country - and she's from Barnsley - Dr Joann Fletcher talks to star reporter Rachael Clegg about life as an Egyptologist and how her beloved South Yorkshire mining town is more connected with Ancient Egypt than one would think.
With her noise-piercing, wild hair and long black jacket, Joann Fletcher is not how you imagine an Egyptologist to look. There's not a shred of tweed on show and no trace of a plummy accent. This renowned Egyptologist, who is believed to have discovered the body of the beautiful Queen Nefertiti, is as Barnsley as Arthur Scargill.
Joann's here, at the University Centre Barnsley, to deliver a lecture on Yorkshire's historic connections with Egyptology. She's been obsessed with Ancient Egypt since she was a child, thanks to her parents' book collection on the subject. "I was fascinated by the visuals - I loved the primary colours they used and the way they represented people in simplified form," she said.
This fascination would remain with Joann - now 44 - throughout her life. She studied Egyptology at University College London in 1987, followed by a PhD at Manchester University entitled Ancient Egyptian Hair: a study in style, form and function.
It is, of course, widely disputed whether or not Fletcher's identification of Nefertiti is correct.
I was I was her I'm not sure that I would be overjoyed by the comparison to Arthur Scargill!