Egyptian Mummies exhibit opens May 16 at the ROM

Egyptian Mummies offers previously unknown details about mummification, prominent beliefs and religions, family life, and cultural diversity.Egyptian Mummies offers previously unknown details about mummification, prominent beliefs and religions, family life, and cultural diversity.
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This spring, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in nearby Toronto welcomes six special guests of the ancient world to share their incredible stories with visitors to the Museum.

Opening on May 16, Egyptian Mummies: Ancient Lives. New Discoveries. invites visitors to journey back in time for a rare and in-depth look at what life was like on the Nile 3,000 years ago. Organized by the British Museum, the exhibition is both a rigorous scientific exploration and a spiritual voyage, using advanced CT scanning techniques, 3D images, over 200 extraordinary objects, and six mummies to illustrate — in greater detail than ever before — fascinating facts of each individual’s life story.

“Egyptian Mummies: Ancient Lives. New Discoveries. offers visitors a unique and incredible opportunity to forge a connection with six people who lived, worked, grew up and died in ancient Egypt,” says Josh Basseches, ROM Director & CEO. “Never before has it been possible to see, in such remarkable detail, what life was like in ancient times. The exhibition’s groundbreaking research is made even more resonant by inclusion of exceptionally preserved items of everyday life, such as a child’s toy or musical instrument.”

In a journey evocative of floating down the Nile, Egyptian Mummies offers previously unknown details about mummification, prominent beliefs and religions, family life, and cultural diversity. These stories are revealed through advanced three-dimensional CT-scanning technology — known as Dual Energy CT scanning — of the six mummies in the exhibition. The process involves two X-ray energy sources of different wave lengths that rotate around the body, creating thousands of transversal images. The resulting visualizations allows researchers to study the mummies without disturbing their coverings, revealing their internal structures, and details such as age, sex, height, state of health, and the embalming process used to preserve them.

“This exhibition invites visitors not only to gain a new appreciation and understanding of daily life and the funerary practices in ancient Egypt, but it also takes a glimpse into the future of Egyptology,” says Dr. Krzysztof A. Grzymski, senior curator, Egypt and Nubia at the ROM, and curator of the Toronto presentation of Egyptian Mummies. “I can’t wait for visitors to experience the surprising connections between modern and ancient life.”

Bringing the discoveries to life are the stories of six unique individuals who lived between 900 BCE to CE 180: Nestawedjat, a married woman from Thebes; Tamut, a middle-aged chantress from Amun; Irthorru, a middle-aged man who was a priest in several Akhmim’s temples; an unnamed singer in the temple of Karnak; a young boy from Hawara, who lived during the Roman period and whose preservation reflects a newly revered place children occupied in Egypt at the time; and an unknown young man from Thebes, whose life-like image gazes back at us like a modern family portrait.

The ROM’s engagement of Egyptian Mummies is the last chance to see this remarkable presentation on its worldwide tour.

This exhibition is separately ticketed exhibition on display from Saturday, May 16 until Sunday, Sept. 7, in the ROM’s Garfield Weston Exhibition Hall. See rom.on.ca for admission hours and pricing.

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