Get to know the woman behind the wrappings in the newly opened Ancient Egypt exhibition at Boonshoft Museum of Discovery.

The year was 1922 in Western Thebes, along the west bank of the Nile River. Egyptologist H.E. Winlock of the Metropolitan Museum of Art was excavating mortuary temples and tombs in the Deir el-Bahari site when he found her. Hidden in a chamber cut in the floor of a brick chapel lay the main star of this story – the mummy of Nesiur.

Only four years after the finding, Nesiur was donated to Boonshoft Museum of Discovery located in Dayton, Ohio. She was one of many treasured gifts given from the US minister of Egypt, J. Morton Howell.

The Ancient Egypt Exhibition gallery

The 2700-year-old mummy is one of the main inspirations to The Ancient Egypt exhibition that opened at Boonshoft museum in February 2020. In the temple-like gallery visitors can observe the mysterious Nesiur where she lies on a see-through shelf with the top and bottom of her coffin, wrapped in layers of linen cloth, protected by walls of glass. Though the physical mummy cant be touched, Boonshoft have found ways for visitors to get to know the woman behind the wrappings – using new technology.

On a large touch screen located in the centre of the gallery visitors can interact with a digital version of Nesiur allowing them to look on the inside of her wrappings, peel of layer by layer and unravel the mystery.

Digital version of Nesiur located in the centre of the gallery.

Boonshoft used modern CT scanning performed at the Dayton Children’s hospital to make the digital copy of Nesiur. When the mummy and coffin had been digitized, the CT data was sent over to the mummy expert, Andrew Nelson, for interpretation.

“We were able to examine the CT data from Nesiur to visualize the mummy in ways previously impossible. We effectively digitally “unwrapped” the mummy, providing a sense of discovery and increasing our understanding of who she was in life. This data provides us a much more effective way to educate the public while also remaining culturally sensitive to the display of human remains.”

Jill E.Krieg-Accroco, Curator of Anthropology & Exhibitions.

Without having caused any physical damage to Nesiur’s mummified body, they learned that she was a young woman between 18 and 20 years of age. Some of her organs were removed through an incision in her left side but her brain was left untouched. The CT scans reveal that Nesiur was wearing a wig or a hear piece with her into the afterlife. All these insights together with the visual representation of the mummified body will ensure that Nesiur is seen as a person and not an artifact which is a high priority for any museum displaying human remains.

Boonshoft have worked closely with us at Interspectral to visualise the CT data and transform it into an interactive exhibition suitable for the public. This has been done using the Inside Explorer software. “Inside Explorer allowed us to interpret Nesiur at the highest level. The staff were also highly respectful and went above and beyond to ensure her interpretation was ethically, professionally, and educationally correct. Insterspectral’s work aligns perfectly with the mission of the DSNH to create and provide meaningful and entertaining learning experiences for curious minds to engage with natural history, science, and nature while honoring and preserving collections for future generations.”, says Jill E. Krieg-Accroco, Curator of Anthropology & Exhibitions.

98 years after she was first discovered Nesiur play a key role in educating students and families of Dayton about the rich Egyptian culture. Her greatness can be experienced in both physical and digital form.

Interested in digital heritage?

Are you looking for ways to make your own collection more accessible to the public? Please contact us for a free demo of Inside Explorer and we can discuss whether Interspectral is a good fit for you!

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