Mummies of the World

By Laura Latzko

 

Mummies are often associated with ancient Egypt, but they have been found worldwide.

Mummies of the World: The Exhibition proves this, assembling the largest collection of these wrapped wonders. They are on display from February 10 to September 2 at the Arizona Science Center.

“This is a great opportunity for people to learn that mummies come from all different places in the world and all different situations,” said Sari Custer, chief curiosity officer.

The exhibit tells the personal stories of these 40 animal and human mummies.

“All of these mummies went through a different experience or have a different background. That’s another piece of the story here is that each of these mummies was a real person, and we can learn about that person and that culture,” Custer said.

The mummies ended up as such due to their environment with little moisture or oxygen. Ancient Egyptians removed body parts and used resin or embalming chemicals on bodies before wrapping them.

Mummies have helped scientists to gather more information about the societies in which these individuals lived.

The mummy exhibit will be on a similar scale as the science center’s previous blockbuster-style show Pompeii: The Exhibition.

Mummies of the World

Custer said the center is trying to engage children and adults with science. The mummies represent people at different levels in society, including a baron and baroness and a priest.

The exhibition also has the remains of mummified animals, including a cat, fish, falcon, rabbit, dog and crocodile.

Within the exhibit, visitors learn more about cultural rituals, scientific experiments, medical science advancements and environmental conditions associated with mummification.

The collection includes a mummified family in Hungary who died of tuberculosis and was entombed in a church, a German nobleman who was preserved in his family crypt after dying during the Thirty Years’ Wars, mummies created during the early 19th century to teach anatomy, shrunken heads from South America and a Maryland man who was scientifically mummified using an ancient Egyptian process as part of the MUMAB project.

The exhibit is split into different sections, based on how the mummies were created.

Along with mummies, the exhibition will also have artifacts such as clothing, jewelry and personal items found in tombs and medical instruments.

Interactive stations will give visitors a sense of what mummies feel like, where they have existed and how they were created.

Throughout the exhibit’s run, the science center will after-hours events, labs and demonstrations related to the exhibition.

 

Mummies of the World: The Exhibition, Arizona Science Center, 600 E. Washington Street, Phoenix, 602.716.2000, azscience.org, various hours Sunday, February 10, to Monday, September 2. $11.95 for adults, $9.95 for children 3 to 17 and $6 for groups of 15 and more in addition to the purchase of general admission ticket, which are $18 for adults and $13 for children.

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