• Short Summary

    INTRODUCTION: Archaeologists and Egyptology specialists in Bristol have begun the delicate job of unwrapping an Egyptian mummy, believed to be three thousand years old.

  • Description

    GV ZOOM CU FROM Specialists around mummy on table TO mummy being unwrapped.

    CUs Tweezers used to remove piece of mummy wrapping which is placed in plastic bag. (2 SHOTS)

    GV & CUs David Dawson speaking as mummy is unwrapped. (4 SHOTS)

    SCU Dr. Jonathan Musgrave speaking as he examines X-ray pictures of mummy, and answers questions. (5 SHOTS)


    DAWSON: (SEQ 3): "First, we've got to record exactly the positions of the bandages as they are now. As you can see, they have been damaged in the past (INDISTINCT) suffer from deterioration. Almost certainly this upper layer of bandaging, which would have been extremely decorative when it had been finished off, is in a very poor state, and there's probably been parts of it that's been re-tied. We've got to therefore record exactly as it is now. Before we can actually start unravelling everything in the reverse order, we hope, in which the original embalmers would have wrapped him up, we've got to make sure that we've got fresh information as possible."

    MUSGRAVE: (SEQ 4): "Here, this is light on the X-rays, which means in fact that it's very dense; X-rays can't penetrate, and so we assume that the whole of the cavity's filled with some dense material like mud, which they frequently packed into the thorax, chest and the abdomen after they'd removed all the entrails. Now, they removed all the entrails except the heart, and we should, we hope to find the heart. It's not certain, but we would be surprised if the heart isn't there. But we don't honestly know what we'll find inside the mud until we get inside."

    REPORTER: "Why are you certain you'll find the heart there?"

    MUSGRAVE: "Well, I'm not certain we'll find the heart there. I think most of us would be surprised if we didn't because the heart, to the ancient Egyptians. was the seat of their souls, and so to them it was essential to retain the heart in place after death."

    Initials JS

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: INTRODUCTION: Archaeologists and Egyptology specialists in Bristol have begun the delicate job of unwrapping an Egyptian mummy, believed to be three thousand years old. The mummy, discovered in 1906 during the excavation of the Eleventh Dynasty at Deir el-Bahri, has been in Bristol City Museum for almost 80 years, but recently, it has started to deteriorate. Museum staff stress it's a fundamental rule to preserve data from excavations as intact as possible, but that more can be learned from this mummy by dismantling it, rather than allowing the shroud breakdown to continue.

    SYNOPSIS: They say that this is an extreme case caused by difficulty in controlling the museum's temperatures and humidity in the past. The unwrapping and dissection operations are being carried out by a team led by Doctor Jonathan Musgrave of the university of Bristol's Anatomy Department; and by the museum's Curator in Archaeology, David Dawson.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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