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  • Mummies: Death and the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt
    December 15, 2004 SANTA ANA, CA.

    The British Museum.

    Among the peoples of the ancient world, the Egyptians occupy a unique position with their approach to death and the possibility of resurrection, particularly since so much of the evidence that has survived over thousands of years comes from a funerary context.

    The largest and most comprehensive collection of ancient Egyptian funerary material outside of Cairo is housed at The British Museum. As part of its joint venture with the British Museum, the Bowers Museum has drawn upon this world-famous collection of mummies and funerary objects to present Mummies: Death and the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt ... Treasures from the British Museum, opening April 17, 2005.

    The extensive exhibition features 140 objects, including 14 mummies and/or coffins, and is the largest exhibition of its kind to be shown by the British Museum outside of Britain. The exhibition will run indefinitely.

    Mummies: Death and the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt focuses on embalming, coffins, sarcophagi, shabti figures, magic and ritual, amulets, papyri, as well as the process of mummification. The exhibition illustrates in depth the story of the fascinating Egyptian ritual of preparing and sending the dead to the afterlife, complete with furnishings created specifically for an individual's coffin, such as spectacular gold jewelry and a wooden boat to transport the dead into the underworld.

    According to one of the exhibition curators, Assistant Keeper of Antiquities at the British Museum Dr. John Taylor, the Egyptian mummies and coffins in this exhibition are of the highest quality and have not been exhibited for many years. "This exhibition will provide the ultimate look into the world of mummification," Dr. Taylor said.

    "We speak of death as one of the great rites of passage of human existence. Whether we believe that life continues beyond death, or ends at that moment, or whether we admit that we do not know, death is a door through which we must all pass." Curator Dr. John Taylor.