They may be thousands of years old but our fascination with mummies isn’t going away.

Leia Comegna reports.


What is it about Egyptian mummies that continues to fascinate?

They’ve captured the public imagination for centuries, as if carrying their spirits through time.

Archaeologist Serena Love has spent the past 24 years exploring how and why ancient civilisations created these ‘immortal’ human remains.

She explains why they’re so important today.

Dr Serena Love, UQ: “I think mummies have been locked in the public imagination since we first found them in the late 1700s. They have always held something special in the imagination and I think it’s just the practices that are so different and so natural and so mysterious that it’s special.”

Dr Love says only about 20% of the population would be mummified with the majority coming from wealthy families and royalty.

And depending on how wealthy you were, determined what type of mummy you’d become, from the quality of coffin you’d lie in, to the type of amulets you’d wear.

The process of actually making a mummy takes 70 days.

Starting with extracting body fluids, removing organs, coating the body in resin, to finally, wrapping.

The Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives exhibit has been a hit attracting everyone from mummification experts to new fans of archaeology.

Leia Comegna, reporter: “What’s your favourite thing about it so far?”

Girl: “Probably looking at the masks.”

Leia Comegna, reporter: “What’s your favourite thing about thte masks?”

Girl: “Like they’re shiny.”

Vox 1: “I believe it’s a superb exhibition, lovely to get up so close.”

Vox 2: “I think it’s wonderful to have a comprehensive bit of Egyptology in Brisbane.”

This is Tumut and she died almost 3000 years ago.

You can see her and the five other mummies here at Queensland Museum until August 23rd.

Leia Comegna QUT News.