Egypt mummies divulge secrets
16 February 2012, 16:10
England - Modern technology reveals the secrets kept for thousands of
years by Egyptian mummies in a major exhibition at Scotland's National
Scientists used advanced scanning techniques on the
mummified corpses of a young woman and a girl child laid over her feet
to reveal jewellery in the binding and also have plans to tap their DNA
to discover whether the two are related.
The show, including the
embalmed mummies and objects dating back 6 000 years from the
collections at the Scottish museum and the National Museum of
Antiquities at Leiden in The Netherlands, opened at the weekend and runs
through to May 27 when it will go on to Spain.
The exhibition is
being staged in a new purpose-built space created during a £47m
($73.64m) renovation of the Edinburgh museum completed last July.
vastly expanded space has allowed the museum to display objects not
seen by the public for generations. Officials said three million people
have visited the museum since July.
Tate, head of conservation at the museum, said scientists at Liverpool
University who scanned the mummified corpses using advanced techniques
had identified a gold amulet in the young woman's binding and created an
exact copy as a gold-gilded titanium artefact.
Scientists now plan to use nuclear DNA tests to determine if the woman and child are related, Tate said.
area holding the mummies and a series of coffins has been designed to
resemble a tunnel into pyramids and tombs, providing an evocative and
somewhat eerie atmosphere.
Museum director Gordon Rintoul said
Edinburgh had a major Egyptology collection, with Alexander Henry Rhind,
a Scottish traveller in the mid-19th century, one of the first
collectors to scientifically record his discoveries.
of the Leiden museum said the institution had co-operated with an
exhibition on Egyptology with the Museum of Civilisation in Canada's
Quebec City three years ago. The current joint exhibition in Edinburgh
had been two years in the making, and will go from the Scottish capital
to six locations in Spain later this year.
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