Egyptian Mummies: Ancient Lives. New Discoveries Opens September 19 at the ROM

TORONTO, August 17, 2020 – This September, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) welcomes six special guests of the ancient world to share their incredible stories.

Opening on September 19, 2020, Egyptian Mummies: Ancient Lives. New Discoveries invites visitors to journey back in time for a rare and in-depth look at what life was like on the Nile 3,000 years ago. The exhibition is both a rigorous scientific exploration and a spiritual voyage, using advanced CT scanning techniques, 3D images, over 200 extraordinary objects, and six mummies to illustrate—in greater detail than ever before—fascinating facts of each individual’s life story. Organized by the British Museum, the ROM’s engagement of Egyptian Mummies is the last chance to see this remarkable exhibition on its worldwide tour.

Egyptian Mummies: Ancient Lives. New Discoveries is a unique opportunity to forge a connection with six people who lived, worked, and died in Egypt thousands of years ago,” says Josh Basseches, ROM Director & CEO. “Ancient Egypt has long intrigued us, sparking imaginations and inspiring the pursuit of ground-breaking research. This exhibition is a dramatic journey of discovery, where innovative scientific technology and extraordinarily preserved objects illuminate the life stories of individuals from Africa’s earliest civilization.”

Egyptian Mummies uncovers new details about mummification, religious beliefs, family life, and cultural diversity. These stories are revealed through advanced three-dimensional CT-scanning technology—known as Dual Energy CT scanning—of the six mummies in the exhibition. The process involves two X-ray energy sources of different wave lengths that rotate around the body, creating thousands of transversal images. The resulting visualisations allow researchers to study the mummies without disturbing their coverings, revealing their internal structures, and details such as age, sex, height, state of health, and the embalming process used to preserve them. Egyptian Mummies is co-curated by the British Museum’s Daniel Antoine, Curator of Physical Anthropology and Marie Vandenbeusch, Project Curator: Egyptian Touring Exhibitions.

“This exhibition invites visitors not only to gain a new appreciation and understanding of daily life and the funerary practices in ancient Egypt, but it also offers a glimpse into the future of Egyptology,” says Dr. Krzysztof A. Grzymski, Senior Curator, Egypt and Nubia at the ROM, and curator of the Toronto presentation of Egyptian Mummies. I can’t wait for visitors to experience the surprising connections between modern and ancient life.”

Bringing the discoveries to life are the stories of six unique individuals who lived between 900 BCE and CE 180: Nestawedjat, a woman from Thebes; Tamut, a middle-aged chantress from the temple of Amun; Irthorru, a middle-aged man who was a priest in several of Akhmim’s temples; an unnamed singer in the temple of Karnak; a young boy from Hawara, who lived during the Roman period and whose preservation reflects a newly revered place children occupied in Egypt at the time; and an unknown young man from Thebes, whose life-like image gazes back at us like a modern family portrait.

Egyptian Mummies is a separately ticketed exhibition on display from Saturday, September 19, 2020 through to Sunday, March 21, 2021 in the ROM’s spacious Garfield Weston Exhibition Hall located in the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal. To help ensure physical distancing and a comfortable Museum experience, the ROM is limiting the number of admissions to the Museum per day, and visitors are asked to pre-book timed-entry tickets online. See for admission hours and pricing.

ROM Visitor Guidelines 
Visitors can explore the ROM’s spacious galleries and permanent collections in a welcoming and safe environment, with new health and safety measures in place. Full details on what to expect when visiting the ROM are found at and guidelines are outlined onsite at the Museum: 

  • Visitors must book timed tickets online in advance of their visit. The ROM is limiting the number of visitors in gallery spaces to help ensure physical distancing is maintained. 
  • Visitors are required to wear face masks and respect physical distancing, as per municipal regulations. ROM staff are also wearing face masks. 
  • The ROM is open from Wednesday to Sunday, 10:00 am to 5:30 pm. These new temporary hours of operation will be in effect until further notice. 
  • Each gallery area, elevators, and stairwells will have strict capacity limits and marked pathways to help maintain physical distancing.  
  • Frequent, rigorous cleaning and enhanced disinfecting measures are in place.

What’s Open & What’s Closed 
Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic opens September 1 and The Cloth that Changed the World: India’s Painted and Printed Cottons opens September 12. ROM Boutique and Druxy’s ROM Café are open (11 a.m.- 4 p.m. daily). Temporary gallery closures include the Bat Cave, CIBC Discovery Gallery, Patrick and Barbara Keenan Family Gallery of Hands-on Biodiversity, and coat check, due to the number of touchable objects in the spaces. The ROM's limited reopening does not currently include camps, guided and spot tours, school-based visits, or event-space rentals. All hours and temporary closures are subject to change.


The exhibition is organized by:


Image caption: Mummy of Tamut, (side 2) Early 22nd Dynasty, about 900 BC, Probably Thebes, Egypt, EA 22939. © The Trustees of the British Museum

ROM Media Contact
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Opened in 1914, the Royal Ontario Museum showcases art, culture and nature from around the world and across the ages. Among the top 10 cultural institutions in North America, Canada’s largest and most comprehensive museum is home to a world-class collection of 13 million art objects and natural history specimens, featured in 40 gallery and exhibition spaces. As the country’s preeminent field research institute and an international leader in new and original findings, the ROM plays a vital role in advancing our understanding of the artistic, cultural and natural world. Combining its original heritage architecture with the contemporary Daniel Libeskind-designed Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, the ROM serves as a national landmark, and a dynamic cultural destination in the heart of Toronto for all to enjoy.


The British Museum aims to share its rich and diverse collection, together with its curatorial expertise, with a worldwide audience through a programme of international touring exhibitions. Touring exhibitions draw on the expertise of world-class curators, conservation experts, scientists, project managers and many other Museum professionals who are able to support the exhibition at every stage of development.