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Getting to Know Herakleides: Exploring a Red-Shroud Mummy from Roman Egypt (lecture)

Date: Saturday, July 12, 2008
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Location: Getty Villa, Auditorium
Admission: Free; a ticket is required.

Learn the secrets of a rare and spectacular mummy in the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum from Marie Svoboda, associate conservator of antiquities. Svoboda has been investigating the mummy of Herakleides since 2002, in preparation for his now-permanent display at the Getty Villa.

Learn why conservation treatment and examination raised tantalizing questions about the mummy's materials and construction, and how a team of conservators, scientists, art historians, and medical professionals worked together to employ cutting-edge technology, including CT scanning, digital imaging, and analyses, to investigate the mummy's secrets.

Svoboda reveals how the team solved riddles about the mummy's history and construction, and explains how Herakleides' mummy and portrait are similar to and different from other Roman-Egyptian mummies and mummy portraits. What does the mummy's beautifully rendered portrait tell us about the man who lies within the elaborate wrappings? What does the rare red pigment on the mummy's shroud symbolize? How does the mummy of Herakleides relate to other so-called "Red Shroud" mummies, of which only nine have been identified in the world?

About Marie Svoboda
Marie Svoboda received her M.A. in objects conservation from the State University of New York, Buffalo, in 1994, followed by four years of postgraduate work focusing on archaeological artifacts. She gained extensive experience with ancient Egyptian material during her seven years at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Svoboda joined the Antiquities Conservation Department at the J. Paul Getty Museum as an associate conservator in 2003.

How to Get Here
The Getty Villa is located at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California, approximately 25 miles west of downtown Los Angeles. See Hours, Directions, Parking for directions and parking information.

Mummy of Herakleides

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