A traveling exhibit at the Arizona Science Center showcases human and animal mummies to help explain how archaeologists use modern science and technology to uncover and understand the ancient civilization of Egypt. We’ll take a video tour of the exhibit.
Ted Simons: The Arizona Science Center is home to a traveling exhibit that examines the secrets of ancient Egypt. The star attraction? A mummy. Produce are Shana Fischer takes us on a tour.
Shana Fischer: An entire civilization is on display.
Jessica Edwards: It's all about the life of the ancient Egyptians, what the commoners' life was like, and the science behind studying that and finding out there stories. The interactive exhibit, "Lost Egypt Ancient Secrets, Modern Science," offers a comprehensive look at a country rich in history. There's a lot of items including mirrors that you can walk into an actual recreation of a tomb with tomb art. You can look at what early archeologists would have done to see inside. There's a replica of the Rosetta Stone. A mummy is a preserved body. That can happen naturally through environmental processes and it can also be intentional. In the case of the ancient Egyptians, they intentionally preserved these bodies so the body and the soul could move on to the afterlife.
Shana Fischer: Not much is known about Any, for anonymous. They know Annie drowned in the Nile, a sacred river.
Jessica Edwards: It was their job to preserve the body. They would begin by washing it with water from the Nile. That was their sacred river and they would purify it with water from the Nile. Then you remove the organs, the heart was left in because that was, to the Egyptian, the center of knowledge and emotions. They needed that in the afterlife. It was washed again and oils put on it so it smelled nice, then sometimes to layers of linens. They would stuff amulets which were religious symbols to protect them in their journey through the afterlife.
Shana Fischer: Equal care was given to the sarcophagus.
Jessica Edwards: The ancient Egyptians were very religious. Everything on her, the colors, the symbols, all have a significant meaning about taking her safely into the afterlife.
Shana Fischer: The exhibit shows articulate facts including vessels, amulets and there are lots of activities for children geared toward unlocking mysteries of this ancient land.
Jessica Edwards: I think people can take away the fact that even though these people were a lot like us. Things don't really change just with technology. You're still a human. There's a lot we can learn from the past that may help us in the future.
Ted Simons: "Lost Egypt Ancient Secrets, Modern Science" runs until September 1st at the Arizona Science Center. For more information you can visit their website at azscience.org.