Mummies among rare Egyptian treasures on show

One of the world's finest collections of ancient Egyptian artefacts is on display at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra.

The Discovering Ancient Egypt exhibition from the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities, features more than 200 objects spanning 3000 years.

The items date from 3700 BC to the 15th century.

Among them are papyrus sheets from the Book of the Dead scrolls, five mummified people, preserved in their original linen bandages, and mummified animals including a cat and a crocodile.

There are also everyday items such as pottery, and even an ancient board game.

The show is designed to highlight key developments in understanding ancient Egypt, such as the finding of the Rosetta Stone during Napoleon’s military campaign to Egypt, and the rediscovery of the tomb of the young pharaoh Tutankhamun.

Discovering Ancient Egypt
Funeral masks are among the artefacts at the Discovering Ancient Egypt exhibition in Canberra.

The Dutch museum is home to one of the world’s foremost Egyptian collections outside of Egypt.

The museum has carried out archaeological work in Egypt for decades, lately using new technologies such as 3D scanning to gain fresh insights into the ancient culture.

Recent CT scans on mummified people and animals have provided insights into the lifestyles and health conditions of the ancient Egyptians.

Ancient Egypt still intrigues and captivates people, said director of the National Museum of Australia Mathew Trinca.

“Ancient Egypt’s enduring power is evident in societies still to this day, encompassing art, design, architecture and culture," he said.

The national museum consulted with the Egyptian Embassy and also Egyptian Australian communities as the exhibition was developed.

Discovering Ancient Egypt
The Discovery Ancient Egypt exhibition will continue in Canberra until September, 2024.

It has previously been on show in Western Australia and will next head to Queensland.

Another ancient Egypt exhibition, Ramses & The Gold of the Pharaohs opened in Sydney in November, while Pharoah 2024 is on at the National Gallery of Victoria from next June.

Discovering Ancient Egypt is on show at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra from Friday until September 8, 2024.

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