New book tells the untold secret of museum's Egyptian mummies

November 08, 2007

A new book due to be launched tonight (Thursday, November 8) tells the untold secrets of Manchester's answer to Tutankhamen: the "Two Brothers" - a pair of 4,000 year old ancient Egyptian Mummies at The Manchester Museum.

In 1907 a team led by the great Egyptologist Flinders Petrie discovered a small tomb hidden high in the cliffs above the Egyptian village of Rifeh. The undecorated rock-cut chamber contained the undisturbed burials of two men. Although modest in size, the tomb was remarkable both for the quality of its funeral equipment and for the enduring mystery of its occupants, Khnum-Nakht and Nakht-Ankh, who soon became known as the "Two Brothers".

In 1908, the mummies were unwrapped at the University of Manchester and examined in one of the first scientific studies of bodies from ancient Egypt. In recent years the remains of the "Two Brothers" have been re-examined using modern analytical techniques pioneered by the KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology at the University of Manchester, and more of the secrets hidden within their ancient bodies have been revealed.

"Manchester is fortunate in having one of the very few complete and intact burials from this fascinating period of Egyptian history, and this book reveals the way in which a study of the objects from the tomb and the bodies buried within it can tell us some surprising things about the lives of the ancient Egyptians." comments Dr Joyce Tyldesley, Lecturer in Egyptology and Fellow of the Manchester Museum.

Rosalie David OBE, the author of the book which describes these discoveries - The Two Brothers: Death and the Afterlife in Middle Kingdom Egypt - is Former Keeper of Egyptology at The Manchester Museum and now holds the KNH Professorship of Biomedical Egyptology in the University of Manchester.

The "Two Brothers", and the complete contents of their tomb, are on permanent display in the ancient Egypt gallery at The Manchester Museum.
Notes to editors

Rosalie David is available for interview.

Images of the Two Brothers are available on request. Please contact Ros Helliwell in the Press Office at The Manchester Museum on 0161 306 1583 or email

Rutherford Press are a local publisher based in Bolton.

The Manchester Museum
Open: Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 5pm, Sunday, Monday and Bank Holidays 11am - 4pm with FREE ENTRY
The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL
T: (0)161 275 2634 F: (0)161 275 2676

University of Manchester

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