Fascinating Mummies is the first exhibition to take advantage of the National Museum of Scotland’s new refurbished exhibition area, and this impressive array of Ancient Egyptian objects from the Rijkesmuseum in Leiden and the National Museum’s own collection is an excellent first use of the space.
Visitors enter past an impressive sarcophagus then through a linen-shrouded corridor, symbolising the passage from this life to the next. Along the way, fascinating objects and well-designed displays explain the rituals and meaning of mummification throughout Egyptian history, including a collection of imposing painted wooden coffins and spectacular jewellery to adorn the dead.
In the second part of the exhibition, advances in modern scientific methods are explained. By using X-rays and medical scanning equipment, researchers are able to uncover more about the ancient Egyptian dead: without having to disturb – or worse, destroy – the delicate mummies.
Interactive displays and information panels are stationed around the exhibition space, which is modern, spacious and well-designed. Kids will be fascinated by the animal mummies – even if modern technology has revealed not all of them contain what had previously been thought.
Fascinating Mummies is appropriately named. The only UK venue for the exhibition, it provides an intriguing glimpse into the magic and wonder of the Ancient Egyptian afterlife, and equally insightful information on how modern technology is allowing even more of its secrets to be unwrapped.
Fascinating Mummies is on display in the National Museum of Scotland’s new exhibition gallery until 27 May. More details are on the exhibition website.