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Public Affairs

Beauty and superstition in Ancient Egypt

April 21, 2004

Photo of the triple-nested sarcophagi of chief priest Nes-Per-N-NubSee beauty through the eyes of Ancient Egyptians at an exhibit in the Becker-Colonna Gallery on campus through May 7.

The exhibit "Eyes on the Nile: Beauty and Superstition in Ancient Egypt" showcases different manifestations of beauty and superstition, and how they affected the death and afterlife beliefs of Ancient Egyptians.

Featured exhibit pieces include the mummy of chief priest Nes-Per-n-Nub and a statuette of Queen Nefertiti's daughter, granddaughter of child pharaoh Tutankhamun.

Curated and designed by students in a museum studies course, the exhibit also includes an intricately decorated triple nested sarcophagi (a coffin in which the linen-wrapped mummy is placed), 5,000-year-old pottery, cosmetics jars, amulets, rare linens and other priceless artifacts that illustrate the beauty of the Ancient Egyptian civilization.

"It is unique that a genuine collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities are available for student use, study and exhibit presentation," said Marian Bernstein, lecturer and curator of the Sutro Egyptian Collection.

The University's Sutro Egyptian Collection contains approximately 700 artifacts from ancient Egypt, spanning 5,000 years, from Pre-Dynastic times through the Graeco-Roman period. Adolph Sutro, who served as mayor of San Francisco from 1894 to 1896, purchased the artifacts in Egypt in the 1880s and brought them to America. The collection was displayed at the Sutro Baths and was donated to the University when the baths were demolished in 1966.

The exhibit is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday in room 510 of the Humanities building. Guides are available throughout the exhibition. Admission is free. To arrange group tours and for more information, call curator Marian Bernstein at (415) 338-1500.

For directions to campus and parking information, visit the parking and transportation Web site.

-- Public Affairs Student Writer Audrey Tang with Christina Holmes


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Last modified July 27, 2004 by University Communications