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Dorman Museum reveals secrets of the afterlife in Ancient Egypt

This October, the Dorman Museum will explore the Golden Age of Egyptian history in a newly created exhibition in collaboration with the British Museum, titled ‘A British Museum Partnership Ancient Egyptians: secrets of the afterlife’.  

Perfect for the whole family, the exhibition will offer a fascinating insight into the ancient Egyptians and their belief in living forever.

Shaped by contributions from local school children learning about ancient Egypt, the British Museum will be lending 12 striking objects to be displayed alongside the Dorman Museum’s own collection.

The exhibition will run from the 7 October 2022 to the 26 February 2023.

Ancient Egyptians believed that people’s lives had two parts. The first was on Earth and the second was in the afterlife, which they called the Field of Reeds.

Exploring themes of living forever and the importance of family in both this life and the next, Ancient Egyptians: secrets of the afterlife will take visitors on a captivating journey that covers everything from the process of mummification and ancient canopic jars used to store the different organs of the body, to mummy masks created only for the wealthiest, that helped a person’s soul find their way back to their body in the afterlife. 

The many possessions the ancient Egyptians took with them to prepare for their next life will also be explored, from cosmetics and make-up pots to mirrors and jewellery, including necklaces that were made up from lots of Eye of Horus amulets, there to protect against danger.

Visitors will also learn how ancient Egyptians cast spells against their enemies, inscribing curses on bowls and then smashing them while Harry Potter fans can discover the original book of spells, the Book of the Dead, a collection of magical charms that was created to protect the ancient Egyptians on their long journey to the afterlife.

Loretta Kilroe, Project Curator for Sudan and Nubia at the British Museum said, “This partnership is a great opportunity to bring our two collections together, to create an engaging and insightful exhibition for the wider community of Middlesbrough, deepening understanding and knowledge of the fascinating beliefs and rituals of the ancient Egyptians.”

JR Bowes, Middlesbrough Museums Manager said, “We are delighted to partner with the British Museum to bring these unique objects to Middlesbrough.

“Ancient Egypt has captured the attention, not only of our local school children, but also of people across the country, it remains an enduring fascination.”

Maria Bojanowska, Head of National Programmes at the British Museum said, “It is incredibly important to us at the Museum to be able to partner with museums like the Dorman. Sharing collections and enabling access to the Museum’s collection across the country is something we strive for, and I hope this exhibition will be enjoyed by visitors of all ages.”

A British Museum Partnership: Ancient Egyptians: secrets of the afterlife will run from the 7 October 2022 – 26 February 2023 at the Dorman Museum, Middlesbrough.