Show Navigation

News & Events

The Journey Beyond

Physical journeys of exploration push the barriers of the known world, such as that of the Greek explorer Pytheas who travelled as far north as anyone had been. ‘The Journey Beyond’ explores these themes and brings together these diverse cultures in a thought-provoking way.


What was life and death like in Ayrshire thousands of years ago, whilst 2,500 miles away the Ancient Egyptians were burying their mummified dead in pyramids and tombs? What did they believe happened when they died?

This exciting new exhibition brings together real Ancient Egyptian coffins and other artefacts together with Neolithic, Iron Age and Bronze Age weapons and tools from the South-West of Scotland.

With important loans from National Museums Scotland, and East Ayrshire Council’s own collections, the exhibition looks at aspects of life and death in these different cultures, and the rituals and beliefs that were held.

One of the key items on display will be the mummified remains and coffin of Iufenamun, priest in the temple of Karnak. Iufenamun was alive around 3000 years ago, and was amongst those entrusted with the sacred task of reburying the remains of the mighty Pharaohs of the new Kingdom from the Valley of the Kings to a secret tomb, only rediscovered in 1881.

Burial urns and ancient tools from Ayrshire, and a replica Iron-Age cist burial will illustrate that the people of the area also held strong beliefs about the journey to the next world.

There are also a series of schools and family events throughout the run of the exhibition – including a free ‘treasure hunt’ available for all visitors to take part in.  Content from the exhibition can now also be viewed online.

Ancient Egypt and Prehistoric Ayrshire
Main Gallery and North Museum Gallery
Dick Institute, Kilmarnock
8th May – 28th August