BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Ancient history is meeting modern science in Buffalo with the U.S. premiere of the new Golden Mummies of Egypt exhibit opening at the Buffalo Museum of Science on Saturday.
The exhibit features eight mummies, as well as masks, coffins, jewelry and sculpture. The collection has traveled here from the Manchester Museum in the UK for its first public display outside its home museum.
“I am just so thrilled that it’s here at the Buffalo Museum of Science. As an anthropologist, this is sort of a dream come true to have a collection like this,” said Kathy Leacock, the director of collections for the Buffalo Museum of Science.
The collection offers visitors a look at Ancient Egypt that few of us consider. It covers the first few centuries A.D., after the age of the Pharaohs, when several cultures were coming together.
“The popular idea of Ancient Egypt is that Cleopatra comes along and then Ancient Egypt dies. What we’re looking at in this exhibition is the time just before and the couple of centuries after Cleopatra, where the Greeks and the Romans, they themselves are obsessed with Ancient Egypt, so when they come and they settle in Ancient Egypt, they want to be mummified like an Ancient Egyptian,” explained Dr. Campbell Price, curator of Egyptology for the Manchester Museum, who is in Western New York for the Golden Mummies of Egypt opening.
The practice of mummification for the wealthiest people in the Greco-Roman period of Ancient Egypt continued into the 300s A.D. when Christianity arrived in the area.
Dr. Price says the Golden Mummies of Egypt exhibit encourages empathy for other cultures.
“It’s about life as much as death. It’s about diversity as much as death. It’s about people, albeit rich people, who lived in Egypt when it was ruled by the Greeks and the Romans, and they have an ambition for a life after death,” Dr. Price said.
New light is being shed on those afterlife ambitions thanks to 21st century technology that is giving us a new look inside the ancient mummified remains.
But, while the CT scans visitors can see in the new exhibit do teach us more about how the mummies were made, they can’t answer some major questions.
“It’s still very difficult to say what people died of, how old they were when they died,” Dr. Price pointed out.
You can ponder those mysteries for yourself as you browse the collection on display at the Buffalo Museum of Science.
“There’s just nothing more powerful than coming face to face with these objects that you’ve seen in text books,” Leacock, the director of collections, said.
Golden Mummies of Egypt runs through this spring.
Tickets are available for designated entry times, with the last time slot an hour and fifteen minutes before the museum closes each day. Once entered, you may stay in the exhibition for as long as you’d like, or until the Museum closes, whichever comes first.
Ticket prices are as follows:
- Adults: $19
- Children (ages 2+): $16
- Seniors, Students and Military (available on site with ID): $16
- Members: $5
To learn more about Golden Mummies of Egypt or to purchase tickets, click here.
News 4’s Katie Alexander got a special sneak peek inside the new exhibit before it opens to the public. Watch the videos below to see our full Wake Up coverage.