Q: Where do these mummies come from?

The exhibition features a group of fascinating mummies and artifacts on loan from 13 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 cat, falcon, snow rabbit, lizard, weasel and fish, some of which deliberately preserved to accompany royals in the afterlife.
-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.


Q: Do I need a reservation?

Tickets are sold for a specific date and time. You can purchase your tickets online by clicking the button on the page above, titled ’ Buy Tickets’. This will ensure your time slot is held to enter the exhibition.

Otherwise you can buy tickets at the museum box office for the next available time period once you arrive. There are often sold out situations though and you may need to wait for your admission time if you do not plan ahead.

We encourage you to buy your tickets in advance.

Q: How do we purchase group tickets?

All pertinent information can be found at the ‘Educators & Groups’ link at the top of this page or contact: 412-237-3400

Q: How long will it take to view the exhibition?

Guests typically spend between 60 and 90 minutes in Mummies of the World. Your admission ticket includes admission to the museums permanent galleries. Many visitors plan for up to another 90 minutes to two hours to experience the rest of the museum.

Q: How long can I stay in the exhibition?

You may visit as long as you like or until the exhibition closes. Please note that Mummies of the World is a timed-entry exhibition and the last guests will be admitted to the exhibition 1 hour prior to closing time so please plan your visit accordingly. Also, note that no re-entry will be permitted.

Q: Are children allowed in Mummies of the World?

Yes, children are welcome in the exhibition. Please note that all children must be accompanied by an adult while visiting.

Q: Is there an audio tour?

No, there is not.

Q: Are there Mummies of the World tours?

No. We don’t offer group or individual tours.

Q: Are food and beverages allowed in the exhibition?

No. In order to protect the artifacts and to keep the museum clean, food and beverages are not allowed in Mummies of the World.

Q: Can I take photographs or film in the exhibition?

No. Photography and filming, including all pictures taken with cell phones, are not allowed in Mummies of the World except by accredited members of the media.

Q: Are cell phones allowed in the exhibition?

In order to encourage a respectful atmosphere, we ask you to please turn off or silence your cell phone while in Mummies of the World.