Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Journey to the Egyptian afterlife at ArtScience Museum with Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb

For the first time in Singapore and Southeast Asia, the secrets of the mysterious Egyptian burial practices and mummification process will be revealed in technologically-advanced detail with the arrival of Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb at ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands.

Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb is an exhibition pairing mummies and artifacts culled from the extensive and famed Egyptian collection of the British Museum with an innovative 3D film experience. It will make its Singapore debut beginning 27 April 2013.

The centrepiece of Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb is Nesperennub, a temple priest who lived 3,000 years ago and died at about the age of 40. The mummy of Nesperennub is an integral part of the exhibition and will be prominently displayed. Additionally, a groundbreaking 3D film capturing the “virtual unwrapping” of the Egyptian mummy will be displayed in concert with Nesperennub. Narrated by acclaimed actor Patrick Stewart, the film unveils the story of the priest‟s life and death, complete with a digital reconstruction of his facial structure.

The mummy of Nesperennub remains in its original cartonnage coffin and has never been opened. The “virtual unwrapping” that is captured in stunning 3D is made possible thanks to the most advanced and cutting-edge scanning technology used in modern medicine. As a result, there are more details now known about Nesperennub‟s life and death, and images of him as he likely looked 3,000 years ago and in his current mummified state that are vivid and breathtaking. Most amazingly, these brilliant graphics and new data were retrieved without opening the coffin or disturbing the wrappings of Nesperennub.

Journey to the Egyptian afterlife at  ArtScience Museum with Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb
Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb will showcase more than 100 stunning artifacts and six mummies in total. Included in the artifacts is a statuette of the Egyptian god Amun-Ra in bronze from 664-305 BC. According to ancient Egyptian beliefs, Amun (which means "the hidden one") was merged with the sun-god Ra to acquire the status of supreme creatordeity, the King of the Gods. This bronze statuette shows the god in human form, wearing his characteristic twin-feathered headdress. Also included is a figurine of the god Seth dating back to 1295-1069 BC. Seth represented the forces of chaos and disorder as well as the
personification of evil in ancient Egypt. This rare figurine of Seth depicts him with a distinctive curving snout.

Among the other mummies on display in the exhibition is the mummy of Tjayasetimu. A singer in the temple of Amun, Tjayasetimu died when she was still a child, around 800 BC. Her carefully embalmed body has been enclosed in a cartonnage case representing her with the golden face of a divine being, and with her hands, feet and arms partly freed from the traditional mummy wrappings. Also present in the exhibition are mummies of animals, such as that of a kitten and an Ibis bird from the Roman Period (after 30 BC).

In keeping with ArtScience Museum‟s commitment to providing interactive programming, Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb will deliver a host of engaging and hands-on opportunities for visitors of all ages to enhance their exhibition experience. This includes an interactive Embalming Workshop which complements the exhibition‟s detailed look at ancient Egyptian beliefs and practices related to the afterlife. The workshop will shed light on the various steps and rituals that comprised the embalming, mummification, and cartonnage procedures of the time.

Family visitors will also be able to take part in a specially-designed exhibition quest through age-appropriate activity bags containing a host of engaging activities and tools directly related to the artifacts on display. Among these are jigsaw puzzles, creative games, and magnifying glasses to help young Egyptologists complete various challenges. The activity bags are made available to visitors during their stay within Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb and are complimentary for ticket-holders.

Together with the detailed look at the mummification process and wide array of rare artifacts and mummies, the exhibition will explore the mysterious rituals of life, death and the afterlife in ancient Egypt. In total, Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb will allow visitors a rare, detailed, interactive and technologically-advanced glimpse into the ancient Egyptian civilisation unlike anything presented in Singapore and Southeast Asia previously.

Tickets for Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb will go on sale from 1 April 2013. For more information about ArtScience Museum and current exhibitions, please visit our website at MBS ArtScienceMuseum.

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