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'Animal Mummies Revealed' at the World Museum in Liverpool, UK

The first exhibition in the UK exploring ancient Egyptian animal mummies opened at World Museum in Liverpool on Friday 14 October 2016.

'Animal Mummies Revealed' at the World Museum in Liverpool, UK
Cat Mummy, Manchester Museum, The University of Manchester 
[Credit: © Paul Cliff]
Animal Mummies Revealed looks at the practice of preparing animals as offerings to the gods. More than 59 specimens are on display in the exhibition for visitors to see up close. Mummified jackals, crocodiles, cats and birds are being displayed alongside rare cultural artefacts that includes a bronze Ibis statuette – one of only two in Britain - 19th Century works of art, and previously unseen archives.

Animal Mummies Revealed also features photographs, archaeological archive material and travel journals that show how the animal mummies were excavated and selected by archaeologists and museum experts, and then distributed as curios and souvenirs, particularly in Britain. Bringing the story up-to-date, the exhibition shows how the study of mummies using X-ray and CT scanning technology has led to greater knowledge about the subject, though has still yet to reveal conclusively how animals and people were mummified.

Exhibition Curator, Dr Ashley Cooke said: “The exhibition brings together mummies of all shapes and sizes – 34 are from World Museum’s ancient Egyptian collection, many of which have never been on display before. Visitors will see why the ancient Egyptians mummified animals and gave them to their gods as gifts.

“Millions of bandaged animals have been found across Egypt, and thousands are now preserved in museum collections around the world. It will surprise some visitors to learn that very few of these animals were pets, and that the process of transforming an animal into a sacred gift for a god was done on an industrial scale”.

Animal Mummies Revealed continues until 26 February 2017. The exhibition was developed in partnership with Manchester Museum, the University of Manchester and Glasgow Museums.

Source: World Museum [October 20, 2016]

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