Unravel an ancient mystery on a
grand scale with
MUMMIES: SECRETS OF THE PHARAOHS opening at the
Museum of Discovery and Science Blockbuster® IMAX® Theater on
Friday, March 30, 2007.
A Mystery 3,000 Years in the Making!
March 19, 2007, Fort Lauderdale– Mummies: Secrets of the
Pharaohs brings to life ancient wonders, historic intrigue and a
modern-day forensic adventure, all in one eye-popping new giant
screen film premiering the Blockbuster IMAX® Theater on March
Why are people endlessly fascinated with mummies? The worldwide
curiosity about mummification is an age-old phenomenon as
enduring as mummies themselves. During Egypt's history,
literally millions of mummies were made. For audiences, these
mummies are windows into ancient Egypt's past. In Mummies:
Secrets of the Pharaohs, filmgoers will marvel at the sight of
these human time capsules, shown in larger-than-life detail on
the seven-story screen.
Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs unravels some of the mysteries
enshrouding the ancient royal mummies, how they were embalmed
and where they were hidden, and also recreates the dramatic
story of their recovery—an Indiana Jones-type tale of
tomb-raiders and hidden treasure that led to one of the most
significant archaeological finds in modern history. Featuring
top researchers, such as Egyptologists Dr. Bob Brier and Dr. Zahi Hawass (head of Egypt's antiquities) and DNA scientist
Angelique Corthals, the film also embarks on a genetic analysis
of mummies that could have huge implications for the study of
modern human diseases.
Filmed by award-winning director Keith Melton (Mystic India,
Cirque du Soleil) and renowned cinematographer Reed Smoot
(Mysteries of Egypt, Mystic India, Shackleton's Antarctic
Adventure), Mummies features breathtaking scenes of natural
beauty and stunning locations combined with incredible CGI
sequences, lavish sets and period recreations that immerse
viewers in different eras of Egyptian history.
IMAX cameras capture sweeping images of the swirling desert sand
dunes and dramatic rocky cliffs of the Northern Sahara.
Audiences will also experience the real wonders of Egypt at key
historic sites—including the Valley of the Kings, Giza, Karnak,
Luxor, Abydos, Abu Simbel, and archaeological digs at Saqqara—where
they will see the colossal temples, pyramids, statues, obelisks,
tombs, murals, and other architectural and artistic feats
honoring Egypt's most prolific pharaohs.
Produced by Giant Screen Films and Gravity Pictures, in
association with The Franklin Institute and the Museum of
Science, Mummies takes viewers on a journey back thousands of
years, to the age of the great pharaohs, to explore why
mummification was so vital to ancient Egyptian life.
Surprisingly, the techniques and ingredients used for mummifying
have only been pieced together in the last 15 years, after a
2,000-year memory lapse. As the film points out, the Egyptians
faithfully recorded nearly everything. But, strangely, no
records have been found about how they embalmed their dead, a
secret that remained lost until Dr. Brier painstakingly gathered
the surviving clues from a variety of sources.
The film then leaps ahead to the 1800s, when code breakers set
off a new worldwide wave of Egypt mania by cracking the Rosetta
Stone--enabling them to read and understand the hieroglyphs and
markings inscribed on ancient Egyptian architecture and
artifacts. In the 3,000 years prior, not even one pharaoh had
ever been found. Mummies then dramatically recreates the
incredible events surrounding the late 19th century discovery of
a cache of 40 royal mummies, including 12 Kings of Egypt, in a
single tomb. Among them were three of the greatest pharaohs that
ever lived: the legendary Rameses the Great—considered to be the
pharaoh of the Exodus and perhaps the only face the world can
see from the Bible—his father Seti I, and his son. Believed by
many to be the ultimate archaeological find, it was uncovered a
full four decades before Howard Carter found the intact tomb of
the boy-king, Tutankhamen.
Interwoven throughout the film's historic narrative is a
modern-day forensic story, a scientific journey to extract clues
about our past that could have an impact on our future. More
than a decade ago, Dr. Brier and a colleague used the clues he
had assembled to perform the first human mummification in the
Egyptian style since the time of the pharaohs. Now, in the film,
he and a DNA specialist check in on the progress of that modern
mummy and conduct key genetic testing. For two decades,
scientists have tried without success to extract usable long DNA
strands from Egyptian mummies. The forensic aspect of the film
includes a scientific first—a discovery that could help
researchers understand how ancient diseases have evolved into
modern-day counterparts. Perhaps the DNA held in mummies like Rameses will be able help to cure people today.
"Mummies are like little encyclopedias, but you have to know how
to read them," says Dr. Brier. "We can find out an awful lot
about the ancient Egyptians—how they lived, what they ate, how
they died--and about ancient disease, just by studying one
mummy. They're crucial to medical science."
The mummies of Egypt's pharaohs have meant different things over
the centuries. For the ancients they were a source of hope for
the afterlife; for the tomb-robbers, a source of wealth; for
scholars, a source of knowledge, and for researchers, a source
of genetic evidence that could advance medical science. For
today's filmgoers, these mummies are a source of educational
entertainment for the whole family that can be experienced in
the incomparable large format.
ABOUT MUMMIES: SECRETS OF THE PHARAOHS
Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs is a production of Giant Screen
Films and Gravity Pictures, in association with The Franklin
Institute and the Museum of Science. The film is directed by
award-winning large-format veteran Keith Melton (Cirque du
Soleil, Mystic India) with cinematography by Reed Smoot
(Mysteries of Egypt, Mystic India). Support for the film was
provided by the U.S. Dome Theater Alliance. The film is
distributed by Giant Screen Films of Evanston, IL.
Opening Weekend Activities – Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs
March 31 – April 2
March 31, 2007 from Noon – 4:00 p.m.
Visit with a Pharaoh hound, a dog breed that dates back to
Ancient Egypt. The owner will be available for questions and
Mummy Coffin Crafts
March 31 – April 2, 2007 from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Egyptian Kings, called Pharaohs decorated their mummies with
Pharaoh Death Masks. Join us at the Science Café where you can
make your own Pharaoh Death Mask and build a Sarcophagus that
will protect your mummy during its journey to immortality.
March 31 – April 2, 2007 at 3:30 p.m.
How and why did the ancient Egyptians build the Great Pyramids?
And what role did the Nile River play in their construction?
Experiment with friction and inclined planes, and face the same
challenges as the early Egyptians when building the pyramids.
Animals of Egypt
March 31 – April 2, 2007 at 1:30 p.m.
What adaptations allow animals to survive in the seemingly
inhospitable desert environment? Learn about desert animals, and
participate in demonstrations that illustrate the scientific
reasons why desert animals can walk on the hot desert sand.
Tomb Robbers: Secrets of Mummification
March 31 – April 2, 2007 at 2:30 p.m. & 4:30 p.m.
Explore an ancient undiscovered tomb at MODS with our brave and
fearless Science Explorer and watch an unfortunate Museum
visitor get mummified right before your eyes. Learn about
ancient Egyptian culture and discover how Egyptians preserved
their dead during this fun and interactive science demonstration
ABOUT THE MUSEUM OF DISCOVERY AND SCIENCE
The mission of the Museum of Discovery and Science is to provide
experiential pathways to lifelong learning in science for
children and adults through exhibits, programs and films.
Founded in 1976 as The Discovery Center, the nonprofit facility
served approximately 450,000 visitors last year. Major
operational support for the Museum is provided through generous
support by Leadership Guild members including: City Furniture,
JM Family Enterprises, Inc., Sun-Sentinel and Wachovia.
The Museum is open seven days a week, 365 days a year; Monday
through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from noon to
6 p.m. with extended IMAX® hours most evenings. General
Admission prices are $15 for adults; $14 for seniors; $12 for
children 2 to 12. Children under 2 are free. A General Admission
Ticket includes admission to the Museum exhibits and one classic
IMAX® film. The Museum of Discovery and Science is located
downtown at 401 SW Second Street, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
33312. For more information about the Museum, visitors should
call 954.467.MODS (6637)
ABOUT THE BLOCKBUSTER® IMAX® THEATER
The Blockbuster® IMAX®Theater-owned and operated by the Museum
of Discovery and Science, opened in 1992. The 300-seat theater
is a showcase of state-of-the-art motion picture technology. The
Blockbuster® IMAX®Theater features a 60 ft. x 80 ft. screen and
a 15,000 watt digital sound system that delivers six discrete
channels of clear sound through 42 speakers. The IMAX®
projector's 15,000 watt Xenon bulb projects images of
unsurpassed brilliance and clarity onto the five-story-high
screen. Both 2D and 3D films are shown in the theater. 3D films
are viewed using new lightweight XR 3D glasses. The IMAX®
experience is an unparalleled fusion of sight and sound. For
show times call 954.463.IMAX (4629).