I take you inside fascinating Creatures of the Nile exhibit at Liverpool's best ‘hidden gem’

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The exhibition at the Victoria Gallery & Museum features a bronze statue which entombed a mummified cat and the 3,500-year-old Book of the Dead.

The Victoria Gallery & Museum at the University of Liverpool was voted as the city’s best ‘hidden gem’ in a recent survey and this spring the wonderful venue has a new exhibition to enjoy. Creatures of the Nile explores the fascinating position animals held in ancient Egyptian and Sudanese society and culture, from elaborate tomb scenes and sacred writings to amulets and pots.

I headed over to the museum to take a sneak peek for LiverpoolWorld. Highlights include one of the earliest known depictions of a domesticated dog, a sheet from the 3,500-year-old Book of the Dead and a bronze statue which entombed a mummified cat.

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Exhibition curator Dr Gina Criscenzo-Laycock said: "Animal mummies are, of course, a really big thing in ancient Egypt. Often I think people might think it was a beloved pet that's been mummified after their death. This is very rare; occasionally, they're pets, but that's very rare; mostly, they're offerings to the Gods."

It features more than 250 objects, many of which have never been on public display. In ancient Egypt and Sudan, gods were often represented in the form of animals, taking on the full or partial appearance of creatures, including lions, snakes, or baboons.

Many species of animal called the Nile their home, long before humans settled there. As Nile-centred civilizations appeared, these creatures became central figures in societies' depictions of their world.

The exhibition examines climate change and human over-exploitation of resources in the Nile Valley. Tools used for hunting, including a stunningly preserved 4,000-year-old throw stick used for catching birds, feature alongside a timeline showing the appearance and disappearance of species in Egypt.

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Creatures of the Nile is on display at the Victoria Gallery & Museum until Saturday, 5 October. Watch the video for our full feature and to hear more from Creatures of the Nile curator Dr Gina Criscenzo-Laycock.

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