THE LIFE OF MERESAMUN: A Temple Singer in Ancient Egypt

Special Exhibit Members' Opening

February 9, 2009
6:00 pm - 9:00 PM, Breasted Hall

Post-Event Comments:

Special Member’s Preview: The Life of Meresamun – Unwrapped!

On Monday, February 9, the Oriental Institute welcomed a record crowd of 225 Members and their guests to the opening of the Oriental Institute Museum’s newest special exhibit, The Life of Meresamun: A Temple Singer in Ancient Egypt.

Dr. Emily Teeter, Egyptologist and curator of this special exhibit, and Dr. Michael Vannier, Professor of Radiology at the University of Chicago, both presented informative lectures about the life and health of Meresamun, a singer in the Temple of Amun in Karnak, Egypt, who died 2800 years ago. Dr. Teeter explored what Meresamun’s life would be like both inside the temple and at home. Dr. Vannier showed state of the art CT scan images of Meresamun within her 2,800 year old coffin, and discussed the exciting medical discoveries the team was able to make about her health. Guests enjoyed the premiere viewing of the exhibit in The Marshall and Doris Holleb Family Special Exhibits Gallery of the Museum, which highlights the beautifully preserved coffin and household and musical objects similar to the ones Meresamun would have used in her lifetime. The evening’s festivities were capped by a reception in the Edgar and Deborah Jannotta Mesopotamian Gallery, and special Egyptian bazaar as the Suq was transformed in the Oriental Institute lobby. Thank you to everyone who made this special exhibit celebration possible; our deepest appreciation to Drs. Teeter and Vannier and the entire medical and museum conservation team who enabled us to share Meresamun with the community.

The Life of Meresamun: A Temple Singer in Ancient Egypt is open through December 6, 2009 at the Oriental Institute Museum.

Egyptology, history, and high-tech forensics work together to tell the life story of Meresamun, a musician-priestess who worked in the temple of Amun at Karnak 2,800 years ago. Her mummy and coffin have been a highlight of the Oriental Institute collection since 1920. Now learn what her life was like, both inside the temple and at home through artifacts from the collection, while the newest generation of CT scans reveal new information about her health and appearance. 6:00PM- Program and remarks by exhibit curator Emily Teeter, followed by exhibit viewing in The Marshall and Doris Holleb Family Gallery for Special Exhibits. 7:00PM- Exhibit catalogue signing Reception to follow in The Edgar and Deborah Jannotta Mesopotamian Gallery.

This event is open to members and their guests.

Please RSVP to Kaye Oberhausen, Oriental Institute Special Events Coordinator, at, or call 773-702-5044.