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Featured Mummy Museums @ Mummy Tombs

England, Ireland, and Scotland

England

Birmingham: The Birmingham City Museum has three human mummies, plus a cat and  bird mummy. Thanks to Mark Simmons (for this and many of the UK entries that follow).

Blackburn: The Blackburn City Museum has a female mummy. 

Bolton: The Bolton Museum has a male and a female Egyptian mummy on display. The museum also has a number of uncataloged animal mummies. 

Bournemouth: Be Careful, according to Mark Simmons. A private exhibit called Magic of the Mummies? is "a cheap and nasty replica exhibition...the "mummies" are store dummies covered in first aid bandages. Laughable ! Unfortunately, they never point out in their publicity that it's all amateurish replicas." To be avoided.... 

Bristol: The City of Bristol Art Museum displays 9 Egyptian mummies, including Horemkenesi (20th Dynasty). 

Cambridge: The Fitzwilliam Museum has three mummies: one male and two cats. The display may be old-fashioned, but it's still nice. Also on display is a huge scarcopaghus lid of Ramesses III.  

Dorchester: The Tutankhamum Exhibition displays only replicas, though they are well done. It also includes a a tomb tableau. Mark Simmons writes: "Worth popping in if you are in the area, but I wouldn't make a special journey. Enjoyed it when I was 14." 

Exeter: The Royal Albert Memorial Museum "has an Egyptian mummy case, which compares favorably with the one at Bristol, but I am not positive if it also contains a mummy (I think it does, but I can't remember from my last visit to Exeter)." The museum which also has a ethnographic collection, displays a shrunken head as part of this exhibit. (Thank you Dr. Dig, Caroline Nicholson.)  

Hull: The West Riding Museum and Art Gallery has an education center with original 1920's replicas of the treasures from King Tut's  tomb. Although the museum's collection includes two Egyptian mummies, they are no longer displayed because they are no longer well-preserved. 

Leeds: The City Museum and Art Gallery exhibits Natsuf-Amum, the keeper of the Royal Bulls. The museum once had many more mummies, but was hit by an incendiary bomb in WW2, and only "good old Netty" survived. His coffin is excellent. 

Liverpool: The Liverpool Museum has 18 human Egyptian mummies, though not all are no display. The collection also has over 70 animal mummies.

Included in the exhibits are:

London:

The museum's Egyptian mummy collections include approximately 78 humans and over 80 animals. This is a "don't miss" collection. Included are:

  • a side-by-side comparison of two skulls. The one on the left has not had its brain removed. The one on the right has had its brain removed by mummymakers who broke through the ethmoid bone. The darker area near the back of the nasal cavity shows where the bone was broken...now you can see all the way up into the inside of the skull.
  • The (female) mummy of Katebet (18th Dynasty), still wrapped but with a beautiful gilded mummy mask complete with a wig and pierced earrings. Her own braided hair was displayed nearby as well. It was ready for use in a wig or as extensions.
  • The mummy of Kleopatra (Greek Period), not the queen but a 17-year-old girl. If you happened to see this mummy in the old displays, it looked rather plain. Now, Kleopatra has been cleaned and stored. And her delicate, beautifully-painted shroud is on display along with her coffins. You can easily tell that (1) her parents loved her very much and (2) they also were quite wealthy.

  • Ginger, the naturally-preserved, pre-dynastic mummy. His well-known photograph is  often included in books about Egyptian mummies. He (named for his red hair) is surrounded by burial goods, including the tools he worked with during his life, as well as pottery vessels that were once filled with food to accompany him to this afterlife.

  • a 1st Dynasty basket coffin (with skeleton) is the rare example of how the Egyptians made mistakes at the beginning of artificial mummification. The basket would have trapped the moisture inside, and the body rotted. This is one of the few examples known to exist.

Manchester: The Manchester Museum (formerly University Museum) has one of the best displays in the world. The museum has two ancient Egypt galleries: Daily Life and Death and the Afterlife. Both are definitely a must-see for a number of reasons.

First, a display of the mummy Asru, a chantress at the Temple of Amun in Karnak, has been installed. Asru takes her place along with at least eight other mummies (according to one account, the museum holds eighteen mummies, though they are not all displayed). The museum has thoughtfully provided clear labels with detailed information about each mummy.

Second, many of the mummies on display have been studied and written about in depth. For example, Asru is featured in the book Conversations with Mummies by Manchester Museum's former Keeper of Egyptology Rosalie David. Reading about Asru, her life, her death, and the thorough analysis that her mummy received before visiting the museum helps bring her mummy back to life during a visit. I highly recommend the book (even if you can't get to Manchester), because Asru and a number of other featured mummies in the book are worth getting to know. For example, another pair of mummies mentioned in the book are the two brothers, who were not genetic brothers at all. One of the brothers, now a skeleton, is displayed in the museum.

Newcastle: The Hancock Museum displays two mummies and has a permanent exhibition called "The Land of the Pharaohs." 

Oxford: The Ashmolean Museum has nine Egyptian mummies, along with thousands of artifacts "crammed into 1930's style cases, and a complete stone tomb (shrine complex)." Mark Simmons writes that it's a "bit confusing for the non-specialist, but well worth the effort."  

Included in the exhibits are an outstanding collection of canopic jars as well as Djeddjehutefankh, who was a priest during the 23rd or 24th Dynasty.

Also in Oxford is the Pitt Rivers Museum which displays two Egyptian mummies.  The museum is also famous for its shrunken-head collection. Mark Simmons notes that its an "unusual place, as the displays are kept as they were in the 19th century...a bit like wandering around a store-room."   

Redcar: The Kirkleatham Old Hall Museum has an exhibition until Christmas 1999 with 200 artifacts, including a female mummy. The museum's permanent collection also includes a crocodile and falcon mummy--along with parts of an unwrapped mummy. 

Sheffield: The City Museum and Mappin Art Gallery has two female mummies (dating to about 700 B.C.): a woman named Neb-ne-bisher and a 14-year-old girl. Both have been x-rayed and CAT-scanned. Also included in the collection are an ibis and a fake Fish mummy (made about 1000 B.C. to deceive pilgrims to a shrine). But you won't want to miss the severed hand and the mummified human head covered in resin and gold leaf. 

Ireland

Dublin: The National Museum of Ireland displays Clonycavan Man and Gallagh Man.

The Vaults of St. Michan's Church contain a number of interesting mummies (seen on the Discovery Channel). According to Daniel Appleton, "Some of the mummies date back to the Crusades, & one of them - a Crusader - is over 6 feet tall. Some of them were, unfortunately, vandalized by arsonists in recent years, & the combined fire & water damage reduced some of them to skeletons." 

Scotland

Dundee: The Dundee Museum and Art Gallery has one Egyptian mummy.

Edinburgh: The Royal Museum of Scotland has a small but interesting collection of Egyptian mummies and other artifacts on the first floor. Don't let the dark exterior fool you. Inside you will find an inner courtyard with a light and airy atrium (even on a rainy day). The museum displays are modern and well-lit.

One of the most interesting mummies in the exhibit is one of a young girl (which also dates to the Roman period). The mummy case may look large in the above photo, but it is actually quite small. And, though the figure carved onto the front of the coffin is that of a woman, the coffin held the body of a young girl. This was not unusual.

The display is notable for the grave goods recovered with the body and included in the exhibit: tiny glass bottles for perfume and oil, two silver mirrors, a guardian lion figure, and a mummy label (with the figure of a man painted on one side and the figure of a woman painted on the reverse), among others. 

On a side note, you also won't want to miss Dolly the sheep, the first adult mammal to be successfully cloned, who is also on display at the Royal Museum.

 

Glasgow: The City of Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum exhibits two human mummies.