Egyptian Treasures Come To London: Review

Beyond Beauty, Two Temple Place ★★★★☆

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 27 months ago
Egyptian Treasures Come To London: Review Beyond Beauty, Two Temple Place 4
Four jars for storing the organs of a mummified body, decorated with the heads of the four sons of the god Horus. Courtesy of Two Temple Place and Touchstones Rochdale

Fancy seeing artefacts from Ancient Egypt, but are daunted by the crowds at The British Museum? Then you're in luck as Two Temple Place has a great free exhibition to visit. It pulls together a great selection of items from the collections of the smaller museums outside of London.

The Ancient Egyptians were obsessed with the concept of a personal image, and this is the focus of this show. The downstairs section is a full blown Egyptian beauty parlour with pots for lotions, eye make up, combs and cosmetic palettes. But what caught our eye is the detailed reliefs and a fantastic little model of a boat complete with sailors.

The true treasures are upstairs and they're remarkably well preserved. These include four canopic jars that were used to hold internal organs of mummified bodies, a dazzling gilded mask and a mummy case that is in such good condition it looks like it was painted a few years ago.

We were also fascinated by the early Roman portraits that would have been placed on top of mummified bodies. It's something we weren't aware of and it's a rare treat to see a face attributable to a preserved corpse.

Two Temple Place has done a great job of bringing collections from around the UK to present to a London audience. We've seen this previously with a selection of items from Cambridge museums in a previous show, and this one is yet another delightful triumph.

Beyond Beauty: Transforming the Body in Ancient Egypt is on at Two Temple Place, WC2R 3BD, until 24 April. Admission is free and the exhibition is open every day except Tuesdays.

A remarkably well preserved mummy cartonnage case, especially considering it's nearly 3,000 years old. Image courtesy Two Temple Place and Macclesfield Museum
The fantastic gilded mask for a Roman citizen. Courtesy Two Temple Place Photo © Martin Gardner
A great little sculpture of a boat complete with sailors. Courtesy Two Temple Place Photo © Martin Gardner

Last Updated 03 February 2016

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