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Manchester Museum in Manchester, UK

 

 A look at the main exhibitThe Manchester Museum on the campus of the University of Manchester (England) has one of the best displays of Egyptian mummies in the world. The museum has two ancient Egypt galleries: Daily Life and Death and the Afterlife. Both are definitely a must-see for a number of reasons.

First, a display of the mummy Asru, a chantress at the Temple of Amun in Karnak, has been installed. Asru takes her place along with at least eight other mummies (according to one account, the museum holds eighteen mummies, though they are not all displayed). The museum has thoughtfully provided clear labels with detailed information about each mummy.

One of two large mummy displays in the museumSecond, many of the mummies on display have been studied and written about in depth. For example, Asru is featured in the book Conversations with Mummies by Manchester Museum's former Keeper of Egyptology Rosalie David. Reading about Asru, her life, her death, and the thorough analysis that her mummy received before visiting the museum helps bring her mummy back to life during a visit. I highly recommend the book (even if you can't get to Manchester), because Asru and a number of other featured mummies in the book are worth getting to know. For example, another pair of mummies mentioned in the book are the two brothers, who were not genetic brothers at all. One of the brothers, now a skeleton, is displayed in the museum.

One of the Two Brothers described in Conversations with Mummies is displayed in his current state: a skeleton

Finally, the museum displays many, many artifacts from Egypt including a reed basket used for burial, colorful canopic chests, and a pretty sensational carved wooden coffin for a cat mummy.

 

 

 

 

 

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1988-2012 James M. Deem 
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