Faces of Egyptian mummies on show in Manchester
Published: 18th Jul 2012 14:04:52
The faces of ancient Egyptians have gone on show in Manchester.
The portraits painted on to panels that covered the heads of mummies form part of an exhibition at the city's John Rylands Library.
The panels, which have rarely been shown in public, were bequeathed to Manchester Museum by cotton magnate Jesse Haworth in 1921.
The museum's Egyptology curator Campbell Price said they depicted people who looked "strikingly modern".
The paintings, known as Fayum portraits after the region near Cairo where they were found, were discovered on archaeological digs in 1888 and 1911 by William Flinders Petrie.
They date back to about AD 150, when Egypt was part of the Roman Empire.
Petrie's excavations were funded by Haworth and many of his finds went on to form part of Haworth's private Egyptology collection.
Mr Price said the institution was "incredibly excited" to be showing the portraits.
"What is particularly fascinating about them is that the people portrayed by the artists often look as if they are Greek and Roman, rather than traditionally Egyptian, indicating just how much of a melting pot Egypt was 2,000 years ago," he said.
"The portraits can often be dated by their hairstyles or jewellery - showing how quickly fashions changed almost two millennia ago.
"They appear strikingly modern and grab your attention in ways traditional Egyptian mummy masks do not."
The University of Manchester's Dr Roberta Mazza, who has helped curate the exhibition, said the artefacts offered "a rare window into people's lives at a key point in Egyptian history, when Egypt was part of a wider Mediterranean world dominated by the Roman Empire".
Papyri containing extracts of the apocryphal Gospel of Mary, the original of which has been credited by some to Mary Magdalene, and census documents are also on show.
The papyri were collected by John Rylands Library founder Enriqueta Rylands in the early years of the 20th Century.
Exhibition co-curator Professor Kate Cooper said the papers showed "a forgotten side of history".
"For example, the Gospel of Mary fragment argues that women should have a leadership role in the Christian church, a view which the medieval Church tried to suppress," she said.
At 20:50:52 in EnglandGreater Manchester's Police and Crime Commissioner says he will reduce the number of staff in his team and move to an office at police headquarters.
At 20:48:54 in EnglandThe closure of two care homes in a Kent seaside town without explanation is an "insult to residents and staff", the GMB union has said.
At 20:32:17 in HeadlinesThe Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed a continued campaign against Gaza militants, amid renewed fighting between the two sides.
At 20:25:25 in EnglandTraders in Birmingham say they are angry the opening of a new Tesco store, first proposed 16 years ago, has been delayed for three more years.
At 20:17:56 in Northern IrelandTwo men, aged 38 and 25, have been arrested in Bangor on suspicion of offences linked to suspected people trafficking and prostitution.
At 20:04:28 in EnglandA £1,000 reward is being offered for information on burglaries at homes and a service station in Leicester that were evacuated after a large fire.
At 20:01:51 in BusinessSince almost five decades of rule by a military junta came to an end in Myanmar (also known as Burma) in 2011, a growing number of tourists are choosing to visit the South East Asian nation.
At 19:45:41 in EnglandA section of ancient town wall in Ludlow remains unrepaired 18 months after it collapsed.
At 19:24:16 in HeadlinesSeveral lorries from a Russian convoy carrying aid are close to crossing into Ukrainian territory, local reports say.
At 19:21:25 in HeadlinesThe manager of the independent Shabelle radio station in the Somali capital has told the BBC he is in hiding after the authorities took it off air.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Faces of Egyptian mummies on show in Manchester [Online] (Updated 18th Jul 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1441241/Faces-of-Egyptian-mummies-on-show-in-Manchester [Accessed 20th Aug 2014]
News In Other Categories
Two men, aged 38 and 25, have been arrested in Bangor on suspicion of offences linked to suspected people trafficking and prostitution.
Thieves and vandals struck more than 300 times at churches and religious buildings across north Wales over the last three years, new figures show.
Scotland's health secretary has been criticised for sending a letter to NHS staff saying pensions post-Yes would be "affordable and fair".
The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed a continued campaign against Gaza militants, amid renewed fighting between the two sides.
There have been all too many acts of barbarism in Iraq and Syria in recent years.
Barnes & Noble has unveiled a customised version of an existing Samsung tablet as a replacement for the Nook HD+, which it manufactured itself.