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Exhibition brings ancient Egypt to Singapore

Ancient Egyptian burial practices and mummification processes are presented in a novel way through modern technology, workshops and activities at an exhibition held at the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands.

Curated from the British Museum’s renowned Egyptian collection, Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb features six mummies and more than 100 artifacts. The centrepiece is the well-preserved mummy of Nesperennub, an Egyptian temple priest who lived 3,000 years ago.

The British Museum performed a “virtual unwrapping” of  Nesperennub’s mummy with the help of CT scanning technology and computer visualisation, which yielded 6,500 separate images that were converted into a 3D film. The film will be screened to visitors to the exhibition.

“Many aspects of the day-to-day experience of living in ancient Egypt can only be uncovered by studying the human remains — the mummies themselves,” said Dr John Taylor, Assistant Keeper (ancient Egypt and funerary archaeology) at the British Museum. “However, we don’t want to unwrap these fragile bodies;  that is a destructive and irreversible process. So in the past 15 to 20 years, we have increasingly come to rely on non-invasive imaging to go beneath the wrapping and recover large quantities of data.”

Secrets of the Tomb will give visitors the opportunity to experience ancient Egyptian civilization through interactive programmes and workshops, developed by the ArtScience Museum and only available to visitors to the Singapore stay of the exhibition.

Three featured programmes are the Activity Quest, a series of challenges that take children through the exhibition galleries, a demonstration of the ancient Egyptian practice of preserving bodies of the deceased. The exhibition is in Southeast Asia for the first time, after having visited United States, Australia and India.

“The British Museum is one of the top museums and in the study of ancient Egypt, its expertise and collections are simply unparalleled,” said Mr Ross Leo, Associate Director of the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands. “We are extremely honoured to partner with such a distinguished organisation.”