Ancient Egypt – Obsessed with life

New special exhibition 13 October 2023 - 18 August 2024

The ancient Egyptians loved life so much they took it with them in death. New special exhibition at Moesgaard Museum unleashes life in the afterlife.


Step into a grave chamber among exquisite furnishings and canopic urns holding the viscera of the dead, when Moesgaard Museum opens yet another of its special exhibitions. The subject this time is the ancient Egyptians who were so obsessed with life they took it with them in death. 

The Egyptians' journey to Eternity

While other exhibitions about ancient Egypt focus primarily on death and the burial chambers of the deceased, Moesgaard Museum unleashes life itself and examines the ancient Egyptians’ perceptions of the afterlife and associated rituals in the exhibition Ancient Egypt – Obsessed with life. Visitors will follow events from the very moment the deceased takes their last breath, through the complex embalming process and onward on the journey as a mummy to the grave, through the underworld and back again into the brilliant sunshine of the afterlife and eternal existence. 

The purpose of mummification was to transform the deceased into Osiris, god of the afterlife. By interring the mummy deep in a shaft-grave tomb, the deceased was free to depart this world and pass into the underworld, thereby avoiding annihilation, and enter eternal existence. 

A mummy is at one and the same time an individual, a god and an artefact able to transcend the chasm between the living and the dead, the individual and the universe – a divine artefact, the creation of which required the application of many costly materials, as well as detailed knowledge of anatomy and rituals. 

Presenting new research

The very latest text research and analyses of the contents of containers found in an ancient Egyptian mumification workshop have revealed which substances were employed in embalming different parts of the body. These new discoveries also feature in Moesgaard Museum’s upcoming exhibition on ancient Egypt. 

The exhibition, which opens in October, will concentrate on the pharaonic period, the Bronze Age and Iron Age, c. 2600-700 BC. It will focus especially on life in the afterlife and the interaction between the living and the living dead interred in the rock-cut graves along the Nile.  

Moesgaard Museum has received support for the exhibition from Augustinus Fonden and Aage og Johanne Louis-Hansens Fond. 

Smell the fragrance of eternity

In the exhibition, visitors can smell a 3,500 year-old embalming oil. The fragrance originates from the mummification of a high-ranking Egyptian  wet nurse of Pharaoh Amenhotep II.

Read the story about the fragrance