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May 14, 2016 - April 7, 2019

The Future of the Past: Mummies and Medicine

Gallery 1, Legion of Honor


Ancient Art Council

Ancient Art Department

Ancient Art Council
Legion of Honor

100 34th Avenue, Lincoln Park
San Francisco, CA 94121

Ancient Egyptian mummies meet modern medicine in this hauntingly beautiful exhibition to highlight the complex cult of the dead in Egypt. Three coffins, two of which with their mummies, assemble in one gallery augmented with amulets, scarabs, sculpture, and tomb furnishings to facilitate the deceased in attaining and maintaining a happy afterlife.

The two mummies, Irethorrou and “Hatason,” have both undergone high-resolution, three-dimensional CT scans and the resulting data studied and interpreted to shed new insights into the two embalmed individuals: how they lived, died, and prepared for eternity. The pièce de résistance is an interactive virtual dissection table, which allows visitors to examine both mummies without “unwrapping” them.

The Ancient Art Department and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco would like to thank the following individuals and their institutions for their expertise, knowledge, unstinting help, and generosity:

Akhmim Mummy Studies Consortium: Jonathan Elias
Anatomage: Jack Choi, Philip Mansour, and Kris Thomson
Stanford University School of Medicine: Rebecca Fahrig, Kerstin Müller, Lior Molvin
Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley: for the loan of the model boat
RETNA: for his wall design

This exhibition is organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Support was provided by the Ancient Art Council; Skot Jonz; Keesal Young & Logan; Mary N. Lannin; Elizabeth Moyer, PhD, and Michael Powanda, PhD; and Dr. and Mrs. Bernard von Bothmer in honor of Dietrich von Bothmer.

Related Programs


May 14, 2016 at 9:00:00 PM

New Perspectives on the Art of Mummification


Plan Your Visit

This exhibition will be held in the 

Gallery 1, Legion of Honor

About Exhibitions at the Ancient Art Council

Exhibitions are an important aspect of a curatorial department. The Ancient Art Department has organized and mounted over the years exhibitions showcasing art from different ancient cultures in the Mediterranean. Some of these exhibitions are also accompanied by scholarly catalogues written, edited, or with contributions by the curator in charge of Ancient Art and Interpretation, and published by the Publications Department. Exhibitions, like publications, fulfill the fundamental commitment of the Department to education, research, and scholarship.

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