Mummies on the loose at Field Museum
Monday, January 23, 2012
The Field Museum is opening its vaults this month to show off some very special mummies.
Many of the more than 20 mummies from Egypt and Peru that will be featured in a new exhibit, Opening the Vaults: Mummies, have not been on display since the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893.
The oldest mummy is 7,000 years old.
The excitement at Field over creating the new exhibit began after anthropologists used non-invasive CAT scans on the mummies last year.
"New science technologies are giving us a way to look at them in new ways," says Gretchen Baker, exhibitions planning and operations director at the Field. She called the images from the scans "really enlightening," giving scientists new insights into ancient Egypt and Peru.
While mummies are always fascinating, she says she hopes families walk away from the exhibit thinking how cool it is to see something that's usually in a vault and excited about how today's technology can help reveal so much about ancient life.
She recommends the exhibit for families with older elementary age children. Included in the 50 pieces of the exhibit, for example, are mummified heads that might trouble younger children.
The mummies will return to the vault after the exhibit, making this a once-in-a-lifetime must-see.