DEATH ON THE NILE.

Luxor is ancient Thebes and has a fascinating past. Share your knowledge or ask your questions here.

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A-Four
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DEATH ON THE NILE.

Post by A-Four »

Today I went up to Cambridge to attend a 'bash' at the Fitzwilliam Museum to celebrate its 200 year anniversary, such a good time was had that I am now stuck on a very delayed train back into King's Cross.

There is at present until around 22nd May a temporary exhibition called Death on the Nile. Rather interesting, it explores the details of how most of the coffins were made during the 18th to 20th Dynasties, and I have to say the carpentry on most examples rather amateurish, even on the coffins of the high nobility. Most of this was of course disguised by the lavish decoration added afterwards By the true artisans.

Today we believe that these tombs of the 18th - 20th Dynasty were robbed in the modern era for the gold and other items. In many cases it has been discovered that as early as the 21st Dynasty the tombs of the previous era were robbed simply to get hold of the coffins, redecorated, mostly covering details of the previous occupant.

So, what happened to the bodies of many of those great nobles that once occupied those tombs as which we today identify them with ? Well, it seems they were buried on the land below the hills. These un-identified bodies would remain buried there until the mid 19th century, where they were un ceremoniously dug up crushed to a powder then added to a cream, parcelled into a fancy jar, and sold as an ointment in Europe,...........strange but true.



newcastle
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Re: DEATH ON THE NILE.

Post by newcastle »

The use of powdered mummies for medicinal purposes has a history much earlier than 19th Century. There was a brisk trade from the 15th/16th centuries onwards and record of their supposed efficacy as early as circa 1000CE.

Some considered that the mummies of virgins were particularly efficacious....although how the virginity of the corpse was ascertained is anyone's guess!

Not surprising that coffins were regularly recycled in ancient times, given the paucity of wood in the region.

The burgeoning of egyptology in the 19th Century has its critics, and the methods and aims of those early, mainly european, explorers were crude by modern standards, but without their efforts one wonders whether, today, there would be much in the way of coffins, or mummies, to examine at all.

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carrie
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Re: DEATH ON THE NILE.

Post by carrie »

Just looked up the exhibition A Four thanks for the info, it always amazes me the work that was accomplished considering the tools available at the time.

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Re: DEATH ON THE NILE.

Post by HEPZIBAH »

For those in the UK that may wish to visit this free exhibition the information can be found here:
http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/gallery/deathonthenile/
Image Experience is not what happens to you;
it is what you do with what happens to you.
-Aldous Huxley

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Re: DEATH ON THE NILE.

Post by Dusak »

In regards to the crushing up of the mummies to add to cosmetics how times and beliefs have not changed. You can understand them doing such things then, but even today with so much more knowledge available, and I add intelligence, you still have ''civilized'' countries using such things as rhino horn and various parts of tigers in the belief that they can cure umpteen medical problems even when shown that these animals are being slaughtered needlessly as non of these so called cures are beneficial to mankind. The cost of vanity is wiping out species. At least the mummies were dead. Sounds like an interesting venue, something that would of interested myself.
Life is your's to do with as you wish- do not let other's try to control it for you. Count Dusak- 1345.

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