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Ghost town

17 November 2008 by Lisa

I found myself, for a few fleeting seconds, feeling quite intellectual during my last trip to the cinema. This was quite an achievement considering I had gone to see a romantic comedy about a dentist called Bertram who gains the ability to communicate with ghosts after a near death experience during a colonoscopy. I know – but it was good!

I was watching Ricky Gervais’ new film, ‘Ghost Town’, while munching on some Revels (by the way, I’m not loving the new ‘mystery sweet’, I won’t spoil it for you by saying what it is, but I say bring back the coffee one). In the film, Gervais’ love interest is an Egyptologist and they bond over a fascination with the dental hygiene of a mummy (of course!)

They were discussing the mummy’s internal organs and it was at this point in the film that I threw down my Revels and sat up excitedly, prodding my friend, as I realised I knew an Egyptian fact! I had been reading about some of the collection items from our new Egypt gallery and so I was able to say; “Look, look, those are canopic jars!”

Four stone jars with animal and human head shaped lids

On display soon: a set of canopic jars belonging to a man named Wahhor, the son of Ptahhotep. Dynasty 26 (about 600 BC).

My bewildered companion nodded and was not as impressed as I’d hoped, but I was quite pleased with myself anyway. There on the screen were indeed some canopic jars, very similar to the ones that will be on display here. These jars were used to store a mummy’s organs, before being placed inside a canopic chest and buried in the tomb with the mummy. So if you go to see the film, you too can try to impress your friends with this cool Egyptian factoid. Enjoy!

You can read more about the new Egypt gallery, opening on Friday 5 December 2008 at World Museum Liverpool, on our museum developments page.

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