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Unwrap the fascinating lives of six ancient Egyptian mummies
Mummies — no, not the maternal, nurturing, familial kind — will be taking over Queensland Museum from 16 March to 26 August. But this won't be a blood-curdling, creepy, Boris Karloff-inspired experience. Egyptian Mummies - Exploring Ancient Lives will be your very own time capsule to a fascinating ancient world. It's an opportunity to get up close and personal — REALLY personal — with six mummies; real people who lived in ancient Egypt between 3,000 and 1,800 years ago, and learn something about their lives and times.
The exhibition is a collaboration between The British Museum and Queensland Museum. The mummies on display are from the extensive and world-famous British Museum's Egyptian Collection. Along with the mummies you will also be able to see more than 200 separate artefacts, including funery objects, coffins, ancient texts and masks, which will throw some light on what life was really like for these six very different individuals from different echelons and times of Egyptian society. The latest in CT scanning technology has been used to 'unwrap' their lives, and you will be able to see visualisations of them based on these CT scans.
Walking through the seven themed rooms of the exhibition you will discover how these people lived, how they prepared for their journey to the afterlife, religious rituals of the time, the prosesses of embalming and mummification, and much more. Technology and research allow us to get a really detailed picture of these individuals, even down to their names and health problems like dental abscesses, tooth decay and plaque in the arteries (see, I told you this would get REALLY personal).
The mummies you will meet are (*this information is taken from the Queensland Museum website*):
Nestawedjat – Lady of the House, circa 700 BC Explore the ancient practice of mummification and Egyptian funerary tradition through the various research methods used at the British Museum. Scans of Nestawedjat revealed the different steps performed by embalmers during the mummification.
Meet some important Egyptian gods via Tamut's decorated cartonnage and discover magical and ritual aspects of mummification.
Irthorru – Priest at Akhmim, circa 600 BC Priests played a central religious and social role in ancient Egypt, and ensured offerings were regularly made to the gods. Find out what CT scans reveal about Irthorru's health.
Priestess – circa 900 BC Identified as a Singer of the Interior of Amun, this mummy would have sung and played music to accompany the rituals performed by priests. Learn why her mummification didn't quite go to plan.
Young Child – circa 40-60 AD In ancient Egypt few children appear to have been mummified. Find out what the cartonnage and CT scans unveil about this mummy.
Young Man – circa 100-200 AD
Discover the evolution of mummification in ancient Egypt during the extraordinary cultural exchanges that took place.
NB Visitors are asked to remember that the exhibition contains real human remains, so Queensland Museum, in the spirit of providing a respectful environment, asks that people refrain from photographing any human remains, although photographs of artefacts are permitted.
Visiting the exhibition
When: From Friday 16 March to Sunday 26 August 2018, daily from 9.40am to 5pm. Not open on Good Friday. Where: Level 3, Queensland Museum, corner of Grey and Melbourne Streets, South Bank
* This is a timed, ticketed exhibition.
* Those attending the exhibition can download a range of useful resources from the website here before their visit. There will also be a Family Trail to follow at the exhibition, with clues and activities for children aged 8 to 10.
* Watch out for the museum's popular After Dark events when music, food, film and talks are added into the mix for over 18s on selected Friday evenings throughout the exhibition. Dates and details will be released soon.
* The museum invites you to share your experience on social media - #mummiesqm #qldmuseum