Dick Institute welcomes Ancient Egyptian High Priest Iufenamun along The Journey Beyond

By Rosie Blackwell-Sutton | 01 June 2010
a photo of two young boys looking at a mummy in a glass case

Exhibition: The Journey Beyond – Ancient Egypt and Prehistoric Ayrshire, Dick Institute, Kilmarnock, until August 28 2010

In a not-so-dusty corner of Scotland lies Egyptian High Priest Iufenamun…or at least the mummy of the man entrusted with reburying the remains of mighty pharaohs.

This summer the Dick Institute in Kilmarnock will bring together, for the first time, an Ancient Egyptian coffin and genuine mummy of Iufenamun plus Neolithic, Iron Age and Bronze Age artefacts from the South-West of Scotland.

The exhibition is a comparative look at life and death in two very different cultures: from the burial urns of Ayrshire to the mummified bodies of Egypt.

A replica Iron-Age cist burial will illustrate that the people of Ayrshire also held strong beliefs about the journey to the next world.

"It is amazing to see these exhibits and artefacts at such close quarters," said Douglas Reid, Leader of East Ayrshire Council. "The mummy itself appears to be in incredible condition."

a photo of two children looking at a skull

Ayrshire residents were historically opinionated about the afterlife

Iufenamun's coffin and mummy found its way to Scotland at the beginning of the 20th Century through former soldier and engineer Sir Colin Scott Moncrieff, who received it for his work on the Nile.

Iufenamun is shrouded in linen bandages with his internal organs treated and returned to his body. His coffin is typical of the time; a yellow background covered with text and images.

The mummy has recently undergone scanning, enabling a facial reconstruction, which will be on show in the National Museum of Scotland when it re-opens in 2011.

A series of large-scale Stephen Vaughan photographs named Ultima Thule (an historic term describing the mysterious northern frontier) will also be on show. The photographs take inspiration from Greek explorer Pytheas and look at connections between geology, archaeology and history.

The exhibition is suitable for all ages and has a range of family and school events, including a free treasure hunt for all visitors.

a photo of three woolen pyramids on the ground next to a door

The guerrilla
art form of yarn-bombing

Some people have become so wrapped up with the Ancient Egyptian vibe in Ayrshire that yarn-bombers (aka "y-bombers") left three yarn surprises on the steps of the Dick; knitted pyramids of Giza.

What is yarn bombing? Started in America, it's a guerrilla style art form, which involves leaving knitted treats on objects such as buses and trees.

Further yarn bombing information: www.yarnbombing.com or www.artyarn.blogspot.com.

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