4th January 2008 at 00:00
The mummified body of an 11-year-old boy, wrapped in decorated linen bandages, is one of the highlights of a new exhibition at Paisley Museum aimed at schools.

Life and Death in Ancient Egypt features dozens of objects from the museum's collection of more than 300 ancient Egyptian artefacts, some of the most important including the mummy, gifted by the immensely wealthy Coats family of Paisley (famous for their threads) who travelled to Egypt during Victorian and Edwardian times.

The show, which runs for the next year, is divided into five themes dealing not only with life and death in Ancient Egypt, but the work of Egyptologists and Paisley's connection with some of Egypt's most famous ancient tombs.

An X-ray of the boy, shown alongside his mummified body, indicates that he died from a wound to the skull. In general, the mummifying process took approximately 70 days, during which the brain was removed through the nose, using a special hook, and the body was salted to dry it out before being wrapped in linen bandages with a quantity of tiny magic charms. Jewellery, tweezers, a bronze razor and mirror; combs and containers for make-up, perfume and breath fresheners show Ancient Egyptians enjoyed looking and smelling good.

Complementing the exhibition is "Museum on the Move: Egyptians", one of the five new Touring Learning Resources developed with local authorities by the National Museums of Scotland.

The interactive resource, which includes reproduction Egyptian food, clothing and objects, will be in use at the museum until the end of February and will then tour primary schools throughout Renfrewshire when classes will be encouraged to come and see the exhibition.

T 0141 889 3151.

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