Feature by Lizzie Guilfoyle
WHY ARE Egyptian mummies a source of such infinite fascination?
Morbid curiosity, perhaps, or is it something more profound?
Mummies are, of course, an extraordinary link with the past -
a unique source of scientific information.
Family relationships, life expectancy, nutrition and health,
as well as the causes of death and the complex process of mummification
itself, can all be gleaned from careful examination.
Until now, though, that involved
unwrapping the subject and thereby, ultimately destroying it.
However, with the advent of CT (Computerised Tomography) scans,
all that has changed.
And this is the basis of the British Museum's exhibition, aptly
entitled, The Inside Story.
The subject of this 'virtual unwrapping', is Nesperennub, a priest
of Karnak who died some 3,000 years ago.
Now, thanks to this modern technology, you can look inside the
mummy-case, peer under the wrappings and even travel inside the
body, without damaging it in any way.
And if all that isn't enough, you can see Nesperennub's recreated
This, together with a virtual reality film, narrated by Sir Ian
McKellen, will give visitors to the museum an intriguing insight
into Egyptian life as it was 3,000 years ago.