Campbell Price, Golden Mummies of Egypt. Interpreting Identities from the Graeco-Roman Period. Manchester Museum and Nomad Exhibitions, 2020. Pb, 252 pp. ISBN 9781526199.
Ancient Egypt is synonymous with gold, sex, art, and death – a combination as intoxicating as it is enduringly popular with book readers, documentary watchers, and museum visitors. But to what extent are these concepts representative of ancient concerns or realities, and how might modern interpreters – collectors, archaeologists, curators, writers, artists – have shaped the ancient past to fit a narrative attractive to themselves and their audiences?
Sumptuously illustrated with new photography by Julia Thorne and drawing on little-known archive material, Golden Mummies of Egypt showcases for the first time this extraordinary range of artifacts, examining how and why they came to Manchester Museum, the ancient identities these objects helped to construct, and the ways in which they have been interpreted in the Western world.