Tag Archives: mummification

Mummies of the World exhibition

The exhibition Mummies of the World began with a mysterious and rare find of 20 human mummies hidden in the basement of the Reiss-Engelhorn Museums in Mannheim, Germany in 2004.  The mummies, which once belonged to artist Gabriel von Max (1840–1915) were thought to have been destroyed or lost during World War II.  This startling discovery prompted the most important research project ever undertaken with regard to mummies.  Without documentation explaining who they were, where they were from or why they were collected, an international team of scientists from many disciplines studied the mummies.  Their studies and research, known as the German Mummy Project, is the largest mummy research project in the world.  The results of their research and studies are presented in the Mummies of the World exhibition, made possible through the collaboration of 21 world-renowned museums, organizations and collections from seven countries, and is currently on show in LA.

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The allure of Mummies

Walk into the British Museum on any given day and I can guarantee you the two busiest rooms will linked by a common theme. I can go further and predict that half the visitors to one of those rooms will be in fact actually scanning the area for something that’s found in the other room! 

If you havent guessed what I’m referring to it’s the Egyptian rooms and that old crowd pleaser mummies. 

There is undoubtably something of the star quality about a good mummy on display – gruesome you might say, but intriguing and quite frankly wonderous too in my opinion. 

Mummies and mummification has been around for a very long time indeed – practised not just by the famous Egyptians but also by the Inca’s and many other cultures. I have previously written about mummified cats but lets take a moment to appreciate some other fine human examples…and to start off the Mona Lisa of the mummy world – Tutankhamun:

King Tutankhamun Head

King Tutankhamun's Head

King Tutankhamun's Feet

King Tutankhamun's Feet

 And South America’s finest the Peruvian mummy:

Inca mummy

Inca mummy

Mummified Cats – the easy care pet

Ancient Egyptians had some great ideas, slave labour, beautiful tombs and pyramids being just three of them.  

Perhaps the best though was their preservation of the king of animals….cats!  

Beautiful examples can be in the Egyptian afterlife rooms of London’s British Museum, have a look at one below:  

Mummy of a cat, Roman period after 30 BC

Mummy of a cat, Roman period after 30 BC