CHICAGO (AP) — The Field Museum plans a rare display of mummies from its own
collection, many of which haven’t been seen by the public since the World’s
Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893.
The exhibit —
which runs Feb 17 through April 22 — will feature more than 20 mummies from
Egypt and Peru, including complete humans and animals. Several will be
displayed in their original 19th century cases and some date to 5,500 years
old, according to museum officials.
obtained many of the mummies at the exposition in 1893, but they hadn’t been
studied thoroughly until last year because of fears of damage. Then last
year scientists at the lake-front facility performed non-invasive CT scans
on several mummies, allowing scientist to “virtually unwrap” them, the
The mummies will
be displayed along with scanned images that show evidence of serious
injuries, illnesses and offerings and jewelry tucked inside in the
“By studying the
preserved remains of ancient peoples we can learn more about their lives. By
using modern scanning technology, we have uncovered a wealth of new
information without damaging the specimens in any way,” Robert Martin, a
curator at the museum, said in a statement. “We can now see pathologies such
as injured bones and distorted or missing teeth. Evidence such as this tells
us a great deal about the health of individuals.”
The exhibit is
called “Opening the Vaults: Mummies.” It will detail the differences between
mummification in Egyptian and Peruvian cultures and include artifacts from
both cultures, such as grave markers and gold objects.
officials, who call it a “once-in-a-life-time opportunity for the public,”
said the exhibit will only be open two months because of the fragile nature
of the mummies.