Q: Where do these mummies come from?
The exhibition features a group of fascinating mummies and artifacts on loan from 12 world-renowned museums, organizations and collections coming from 5 countries.
Q: Are these mummies real?
Mummies of the World is the largest collection of real mummies and related artifacts that has ever been assembled! You will be seeing a fascinating collection of mummies with some incredible stories, including:
-The Vac Mummies, a mummified family from Hungary believed to have died from tuberculosis
-The Baron Von Holz, a German nobleman found tucked away in the family crypt of a 14th century castle wearing his best leather boots
-The Burns Collection, a group of medical mummies used to teach anatomy in the early 19th century
-An Egyptian priest named Nes-Hor whom we have determined had arthritis and a broken left hip
-Egyptian animal mummies including a falcon, a fish, a dog and a baby crocodile, many of which were deliberately preserved to accompany royals for eternity
-MUMAB, the first replication of Egyptian mummification done on a body in 2,800 years
-And much more….
Q: What is a mummy?
A mummy is the dead body of an animal or a human that has been preserved after death so that it does not decompose. To be considered a mummy and not just a skeleton, the body must keep some of its soft tissue, such as hair, skin or muscles.
Q: What is mummification and how do mummies happen?
Mummification takes place when the process of decay is blocked, generally from a lack of moisture or oxygen. This can happen as an intentional process, which sometimes is referred to as intentional or artificial mummification, or as a natural process, which sometimes is referred to as natural or accidental mummification.
Some cultures, like the Egyptians, practiced intentional or artificial mummification, removing the internal organs and treating the corpses with some type of resin or chemical (often called embalming), and then bandaging or wrapping them. Natural mummification often occurs as a result of an environment where temperature, humidity or other conditions have preserved the remains. This may have happened accidentally, when people either died in locations where environmental conditions preserved the bodies, or when people were purposely placed in locations that would mummify the body, such as a dry, cool cave, a bog or crypt.
Q: Why study mummies and what can they teach us?
Mummies provide a window to the past, teaching us about the lives, history and cultures of every region of the world. By studying mummies, we can learn more about the times and places in which they lived. Through modern science, their bodies tell us scientific facts; how tall people were, how long they lived, what kinds of food they ate and the diseases and injuries they suffered from. Clothing, jewelry and other personal artifacts placed on or with a mummy can tell us about the person’s status and lifestyle, as well as the values, beliefs, and attitudes of the culture in which they lived. By knowing how people lived long ago, we can better understand how differently people live today. This allows us to observe how cultures change over time and give us insight into how our own culture may change in the future.
Q: Where are mummies found?
Not all mummies come from Egypt and are wrapped. In fact, mummies come from all over the world and have been found on every continent. Mummies of the World features mummies from South America, Europe, as well as Egypt. They include mummies that have been intentionally preserved and mummies that have been naturally preserved and found in places as varied as deserts, caves, salt, sand, cellars, crypts and bogs.