See the teen mummy and other treasures in town
The Treasures of the World exhibition from the British Museum is in town, with more than 239 exceptional objects and treasures spanning over two million years of culture and history. NATASHA MEAH (firstname.lastname@example.org) highlights some of the exhibits
The Treasures of the World exhibition from the British Museum is in town, with more than 239 exceptional objects and treasures spanning over two million years of culture and history.
Here are some highlights:
BOOK OF THE DEAD PAPYRUS
In the 1999 American action adventure horror movie The Mummy, the Book of the Dead was used to resurrect the ancient cursed mummified priest Imhotep, who arose and brought back the Ten Plagues of Egypt.
Now, you can see a piece of the actual book that inspired the movie plot.
Fans can marvel at a sheet of the book up close. It hails from Egypt from around the time of the 21st Dynasty, between 1069-945 BC, and comes from one of the longest illustrated manuscripts of the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead to have survived. Originally over 37m long, it is now cut into 96 separate sheets.
The Book of the Dead was a collection of spells, typically written on papyrus and placed in the tomb. The spells ensured the dead had access to the knowledge needed to be reborn into an eternal life.
THE THREE CROSSES
This painting is one of the masterpieces of Dutch artist Rembrandt (Harmensz van Rijn) done in AD 1653.
This scene of Christ's crucifixion is dramatic due to the bold contrast between light and shade, with the frail figure of Jesus spotlighted in the centre.
The crowd of figures beneath the cross can just be made out in the gloom, an effect that heightens the sense of confusion and suffering that surrounded Jesus's death.
It is oldest artefact in the exhibition - about 800,000 years old - and originated from Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. It comes from the The Lower Paleolithic period, also known as the Early Stone Age.
It is made from quartz with amethyst banding, a difficult material from which to fashion tools due to its extreme hardness. The maker had to use considerable force and accuracy to knock off flakes and create the symmetrical shape and straight edges suitable for cutting and slicing.
MUMMY OF AN ADOLESCENT BOY
The mummy from Hawara, Egypt dates back to the Roman period, between AD 100 - 120.
It is wrapped in many layers of carefully-arranged linen. Inserted over the head is a portrait panel of a boy, painted on wood in pigments mixed with beeswax. He wears a tunic with a purple stripe and a white mantle positioned around the neck.
His cropped hairstyle, the clothing depicted and the technique of painting allowed the image to be dated to the early 2nd century AD.
The mummy-board from Thebes, Egypt, dates back to the late 21st or early 22nd Dynasty between 950-900 BC. It formed the innermost covering of the mummy of an unidentified woman of high rank.
The mummy-board is sometimes known as the "Unlucky Mummy" due to a series of misfortunes. It was allegedly responsible for the deaths of various individuals who came into contact with it. It has also been suggested that the object had been on board the ill-fated Titanic on its maiden voyage in 1912.
What: Treasures of the World from the British Museum
When: Dec 5, 2015 to May 29, 2016
Where: Exhibition Galleries, Basement, National Museum of Singapore
Citizens & Permanent Residents:
Free admission for students, teachers, seniors and children aged six years and below
Non-Citizens & Non-Permanent Residents:
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