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Secrets of Nile people.

The lives of ordinary Egyptians are laid bare in a fascinating exhibition at Newcastle's Hancock Museum

Little-known facts about one of the world's greatest civilisations are to be brought to life in an exhibition of rarely seen ancient Egyptian artefacts at the Hancock Museum, Newcastle.

The unique show, called Egypt Revealed: Life & Death in Ancient Egypt, features historic collections from the Hancock Museum and The British Museum.

The exhibition tells the real stories of ordinary and royal Egyptians from their astonishing funerary practices to their mysterious hieroglyphs. Egypt Revealed explores the mystique that has surrounded this fascinating land and its people for centuries.

Visitors will be able to learn some of the most unusual facts about life in ancient Egypt. For example, a mummy's bandaging could use up to 375 square metres of linen. King Ramesses `the great' had over 100 children from his eight wives and 100 concubines. The word hieroglyph comes from two Greek words; heiro meaning sacred and glyphos meaning carving. Sometimes people shaved their eyebrows as a mark of respect when their pet cat died.

As Steve McLean, curator of the Hancock Museum, explains: "While the pyramids, temples, mummies, hieroglyphs and Tutankhamen's treasure tell us a lot about ancient Egypt they only provide part of the picture. This exciting exhibition will give visitors the chance to see what life was like for everyday people living in ancient Egypt.

"Exploring Egyptian society, the Nile, religion, mummification, the afterlife and hieroglyphics, Egypt Revealed explores the myths and mystery surrounding one of the world's most intriguing civilisations."

Visitors will come face to face with two mummies from the British Museum and discover how the Egyptians became experts at preserving bodies for the afterlife. They will be able to meet animals that would have roamed the land in ancient Egypt including live scarab beetles, scorpions and a cobra, as well a mummified Ibises, falcons and crocodiles. Visitors can also see jewellery made from gold and precious stones, have a go at playing a sistrum and even hear the trumpet of Tutankhamen.

Fascinating objects that can be seen in Egypt Revealed include a text from the Book of the Dead, a book which includes magical spells and instructions for the deceased person during their journey to the afterlife. There are also two mummies, one called Bakrenes, complete with painted coffin, and another of a young boy.

Visitors will be able to explore daily life in ancient Egypt which revolved around the fertile banks of the River Nile and learn about their beliefs in many different gods and goddesses each one with their own role to play in maintaining peace and harmony across the land. And visitors will get the chance to find out about the most powerful person in ancient Egypt - the Pharaoh.

All this month children will be able to join in activities and create Egyptian fashion, jewellery and prints with artist Donna MacKinnon as well as get the chance to create a range of objects an ancient Egyptian would need for the afterlife.

Egypt Revealed is on show at the Hancock Museum until April 23, 2006. The Hancock Museum is open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm and Sunday, 2pm to 5pm. Adults: pounds 3.95, children/concessions: pounds 1.95, family ticket: pounds 9.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2005 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 17, 2005
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