Mummies to reveal new body of evidence in museum show

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Visitors will get an unprecedented, closer look at eight mummies in a new exhibition opening at the British Museum.

The mummies, which cover a period of more than 4,000 years and include two children, a temple singer and a doorkeeper, have been subject to scientific investigation using a new generation of medical CT scanners.

Through the use of technology, visitors will be able to see inside the mummy cases and examine the bodies and ornaments placed on some of them while their layers of wrapping are left intact. The eight individuals include a 5ft 6in mummy from the Roman period which was discovered in the 1820s but puzzled experts because it appeared to have prominent breasts as well as a painted beard.

Using CT scanners, researchers have now confirmed that he is a man after all and that his breasts and thighs were plumped out, by his embalmers, with padding inserted underneath his wrappings.

Ancient Lives, New Discoveries opens at the museum tomorrow and runs until November 30.