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Page last updated at 07:26 GMT, Tuesday, 25 May 2010 08:26 UK
Work on preserving Egyptian mummy starts in Essex
By Oliver Rogers
BBC Essex

Emma Hogarth
Emma Hogarth has taken samples from the coffin for analysis

An Egyptian mummy and sarcophagus at Colchester's Castle Museum is getting cleaned and preserved by scientists.

The process will take three days to complete and is painstakingly detailed.

Eventually the mummy and coffin will be taken to Ipswich Museum and be displayed with other Egyptian items.

Emma Hogarth, senior conservation officer with the Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service told BBC Essex: "It is so fragile we are doing the conservation work in situ."

"Normally we would do this work in a laboratory, but it gives people the chance to see the work of the team," she said.

The Egyptian mummy and sarcophagus is thought to date from around 2000 years-ago.

Egyptian sarcophagus in Colchester
The Egyptian sarcophagus is thought to be around 2000-years-old

"In common with lots of local museums we have many items donated by local Victorian gentlemen, and it is out of place with the Roman artefacts," said Emma.

"We are now getting a chance, with the re-development of a gallery, to display our artefact with other Egyptian material at Ipswich Museum," she added.

A CAT scan at a local hospital will be carried out on the mummy to see if it can shed new light on the body.

Museum staff hope the Egyptian mummy and sarcophagus will go on display in Ipswich at the end of the summer.

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