Milwaukee Public Museum Presents Mummies of the World

. January 18, 2011 . 0 Comments

Mummies of the World, the largest traveling exhibition ever assembled, is currently at the Milwaukee Public Museum until May 30, 2011, when it will head to the Northeast and then make it’s way throughout museums in the U.S.

Featuring 150 never-before-seen real human and animal mummies from Asia, Oceania, Europe, Egypt and South America, including the Peruvian Detmold child, whose recent CT Scan dates her back 6,420 years (pictured below).

Showcasing the most innovative state-of-the-art science tools and techniques, the groundbreaking exhibition bridges the gap between past and present, as well as shifting centuries-old perceptions about what we know about mummies. The collection is so well preserved that hair, nails, skin and organs are present and even brain tissue, as a CT Scan recently revealed of a Hungarian mummy.

Some of the most fascinating aspects of Mummies of the World include:

The Detmold Child – The controversial Peruvian child is in a remarkable state of preservation and a recent CT scan determined her to be 8 to 10 months old at death. She suffered from a very rare congenital heart malformation which likely lead to her death from pneumonia. While she may not be alive, quite astonishingly, the lungs, heart, large part of the musculature of the colon and vascular system are still present.

The Orlovits family – Michael, Veronica and their son Johannes – who are part of a group of 18th-century mummies discovered in a long-forgotten church crypt in Vác, Hungary

Baron Von Holz, a 17th-century nobleman believed to have died in or near Sommersdorf, Germany during the Thirty Years’ War (1618-48), discovered by descendants of his relatives in the crypt of the family’s late 14th-century castle. Baroness Schenck von Geiern, another von Crailsheim ancestor, was also discovered in the family crypt.

An Egyptian cat mummy elaborately wrapped in painted linen bandaging, dating to the Ptolemaic period.

Animal mummies including a howler monkey from Argentina; a lizard mummified in th eSahara desert; and bird, dog, fish and reptile mummies.

From a scientific and cultural standpoint, both the exhibition itself and the masterminds behind it can teach us about a variety of topics and questions including:

Public perception versus reality: What defines a mummy?
What are some common misconceptions regarding mummies?
What do experts hope to learn from studying mummies?
What is the most exciting development going on right now in this field of science and research?
What type of findings have CT Scans of these mummies resulted in?
How will the future of research in this field impact innovation in, and contributions to the scientific, historical and cultural arenas?

Image: Milwaukee Public Museum

Milwaukee Public Museum
800 West Wells Street
Milwaukee, WI 53233
www.mpm.edu

Category: Antiquities

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