Ancient Secrets, Modern Science
January 29—May 1, 2011
Ancient Egypt—the massive scale of the pyramids, mysterious Egyptian afterlife, and process of mummification—holds a special fascination for the modern world. OMSI’s newest featured exhibit, Lost Egypt: Ancient Secrets, Modern Science illuminates this remarkable civilization as never before, by focusing on an area that is often overlooked in comparison with the grandeur of the pyramids: the lives of the ordinary people who built them.
Discovered on the Giza Plateau, the Lost City of the Pyramid Builders helps answer questions about the people who undertook this massive engineering project. Learn how they lived, what they ate, and how they were organized. Explore how the windy Sahara Desert environment causes archaeological sites to be lost and found, and experiment with the engineering and technologies that the pyramid builders may have used to move the massive stones they used.
Meet “Annie” (short for “anonymous”) an unidentified girl who died of blunt trauma to the head whose body was pulled from the Nile River and mummified. It is still a mystery why an unknown girl would get a mummified burial. Funerary artifacts illustrate the Egyptian concept of the afterlife: canopic jars that were used to hold and protect internal organs, amulets to protect the dead, and the ushabtis (figurines) that Egyptians believed would help with daily chores in the next world.
For the first time ever, you’ll see a life-size rapid prototype of a mummy in a stage of "unwrapping.” You’ll also see animal mummies, tomb art, and facial forensic reconstructions that show what mummies (including Annie) may have looked like in life. Decode an authentic hieroglyphic message from ancient Egypt using a full-size reproduction of the Rosetta Stone and take your photo on a life-size camel replica.
Throughout Lost Egypt, you’ll use science as a bridge to relate our cultural beliefs to those of the ancient Egyptians, connect past cultures to our own lives, and compare your findings to those of real-life archeologists.