Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Hidden treasures at the Royal Ontario Museum

Toronto Sun (Kevin Connor)

With video.

Some curators at the Royal Ontario Museum seem introverted and not keen on sharing their artifacts — and then there is Egyptology educator Gayle Gibson.

Her personality is as large as a pyramid and she was delighted to share her treasures.

Although her expertise is Egypt and not lions, she bears a good resemblance to the actress who starred in the movie Born Free.

One of her favourite treasures is a 3,000-year-old mummy coffin beautifully decorated with art work and prayers.

“A (mummy) coffin would cost as much as a car, so this is a low-end coffin, but she would of had some connection with the ruling class because it was decorated by experts,” Gibson said.

It is a mystery as to what happened to the mummified woman for whom the coffin was made.

Gibson also brought out a mummified Roman baby who died 2,000 years ago. Tests have not concluded the sex of the child.

“This baby was wrapped in a painted cloth. It is a nice meaningful scene with a priest showing the child is now safe in the arms of God,” Gibson said while lovingly looking at the baby.

“It is a lovely image. They did the best they could, but you can tell this wasn’t a wealthy family.”

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