ROM's Egyptian Mummies: Ancient Lives. New Discoveries

Opening on September 19, 2020, 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. 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. Organized by the British Museum, the ROM’s engagement of Egyptian Mummies is the last chance to see this remarkable exhibition on its worldwide tour.

"Egyptian Mummies: Ancient Lives. New Discoveries is a unique opportunity to forge a connection with six people who lived, worked, and died in Egypt thousands of years ago," says Josh Basseches, ROM Director & CEO. "Ancient Egypt has long intrigued us, sparking imaginations and inspiring the pursuit of ground-breaking research. This exhibition is a dramatic journey of discovery, where innovative scientific technology and extraordinarily preserved objects illuminate the life stories of individuals from Africa’s earliest civilization."

Egyptian Mummies uncovers new details about mummification, religious beliefs, 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 visualisations allow 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. Egyptian Mummies is co-curated by the British Museum’s Daniel Antoine, Curator of Physical Anthropology and Marie Vandenbeusch, Project Curator: Egyptian Touring Exhibitions.

"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 offers 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 and CE 180: Nestawedjat, a woman from Thebes; Tamut, a middle-aged chantress from the temple of Amun; Irthorru, a middle-aged man who was a priest in several of 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.

Egyptian Mummies is a separately ticketed exhibition on display from Saturday, September 19, 2020 through to Sunday, March 21, 2021 in the ROM’s spacious Garfield Weston Exhibition Hall located in the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal. To help ensure physical distancing and a comfortable Museum experience, the ROM is limiting the number of admissions to the Museum per day, and visitors are asked to pre-book timed-entry tickets online.

See rom.on.ca for admission hours and pricing.

ROM's Egyptian Mummies: Ancient Lives. New Discoveries

Canopic jars of Djedbastetiuefankh, 30th Dynasty, about 380–343 BC, Hawara, Egypt, Limestone, EA 22374, EA 22375, EA 22376 and EA 22377. © The Trustees of the British Museum

ROM's Egyptian Mummies: Ancient Lives. New Discoveries

Mummy of Tamut, Third Intermediate Period, early 22nd Dynasty, about 900 BC, EA 22939. © The Trustees of the British Museum.

Photo Credit Lead Image: Inner coffin of Nestawedjat, 25th Dynasty, about 700–680 BC, Probably Thebes, Egypt, Wood and plaster, EA 22812a. © The Trustees of the British Museum

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