Chesterton Tribune

Chicago's Field Museum to display rare mummies

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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.

The museum 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 museum said.

The mummies will be displayed along with scanned images that show evidence of serious injuries, illnesses and offerings and jewelry tucked inside in the wrappings.

“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.

Museum 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.

Online: The Field Museum:



Posted 1/16/2012