Cutting-edge technology reveals the secrets of mummies from the British Museum in a world premiere exclusive to the Powerhouse Museum

10 December 2016 – 25 April 2017

Sydney, Australia: The world premiere of Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives will open at the Powerhouse Museum next month. Ancient cultures meet modern technologies in this exhibition that takes audiences beyond the wrappings to reveal the mysteries of mummification buried for thousands of years. Australian audiences will have a chance to see inside mummies from the British Museum collection via the latest non-evasive computed tomography (CT) scan and 3D visualisation technology when the exhibition opens in Sydney on 10 December 2016.

The six mummies, who lived and died in Egypt between 1800 and 3000 years ago, were scanned at Royal Brompton Hospital in London. They will be displayed in their historical, geographical and social contexts alongside 200 objects exploring themes such as mummification, gods and goddesses, personal adornment, state of health and medicine, food and diet, musical instruments, and childhood. Visitors will be able to virtually peel back the layers of history through interactive 3D visualisations of CT scans and discover for themselves six carefully mummified individuals.

Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) Director, Dolla Merrillees, said: “This is a rare opportunity to get a close-up look at the mummies of the British Museum. They are in exceptional condition and now, thanks to modern technology, we are able to uncover their stories and secrets while preserving their dignity and leaving them intact. With a combination of Egyptian history and interactive science, Egyptian Mummies is the ideal family exhibition this summer,” said Ms Merrillees.

Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts, Troy Grant, said: “This exciting exhibition will fascinate both children and adults presenting six very different individuals from the ancient world. The exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to experience the intersection of art and science that this game changing technology enables,” said Minister Grant.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events, Stuart Ayres, said: “This Summer, visitors to Sydney can journey back in time to Ancient Egypt. Egyptian Mummies will travel to Australia for the first time, making Sydney the inaugural destination for visitors to meet these individuals and discover more about their stories,” said Minister Ayres.

Co-Curator of the exhibition, Project Curator at the British Museum and Egyptologist, Marie Vandenbeusch said: “Egyptian Mummies is a unique opportunity to discover more about life and death in ancient Egypt. British Museum’s curators, scientists and conservators combined their knowledge to explore CT scan data and study objects from the museum’s vast collection, providing a unique insight into the life of six ancient individuals.”

Throughout summer there will be an extensive public program for all the family. Children can try their hand at archaeology with a 20 metre long Giant Archaeological Dig pit, which will be installed in the Powerhouse Museum amongst many other free summer school holiday activities. There will be an exciting series of talks and events including a lecture series titled Death and Dying that will take place throughout the duration of the exhibition and school holiday periods. There will also be curator tours and expert talks from Macquarie University and the Australian Centre for Egyptology revealing the science behind archaeological practices and CT scanning techniques. Please see website for details: https://maas.museum