Mummies in Denver

Mummies: New Secrets from the Tombs

On Friday, we were able to arrange Dad’s work schedule so that we could whisk Claire away from school at the sound of the bell and head to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to check out the new Mummy Exhibit! (We are members of the DMNS, but we were given free tickets to check out this exhibit.)

Ever since Claire was but a wee lass, her favorite room at the DMNS has always been the Egyptian Mummies. Every time we’d visit the museum, we’d stop by and see the mummies. As what happens with toddlers and preschoolers, some visits to the DMNS would be shorter or longer than others, but regardless of how long we were there, a visit wasn’t complete without going to that room.

When I found out they were bringing a larger exhibit of mummies to the DMNS, I *knew* we HAD to go. (The Mummy Exhibit opened October 14, 2016 and goes through February 5, 2017. A special ticket required.) Going on opening day was just icing on the cake.

Quote from the website:
The exhibition is a rare glimpse at a collection of mummies from The Field Museum in Chicago, many displayed for the first time. Using modern technology and noninvasive research techniques, scientists avoided the hazards of unwrapping the fragile specimens and uncovered a wealth of new discoveries. Medical scanning, DNA sampling, and advanced computer modeling revealed a storehouse of natural and cultural information with extraordinary detail.

We were not disappointed!

It was absolutely amazing, mind-boggling, really. We’d never seen so many mummies up close…and not just replicas (there were a few), but these are the REAL DEAL. The only thing between us and these amazing specimens was a thin protective case, and thousands of years, which seemed to vanish before our very eyes.

This exhibit includes mummies from Egypt AND Peru, which was unexpected. (When I think “mummies,” I think of Egypt, so it was really fascinating to learn about how mummification played into the Peruvian culture, too.)

Cameras were allowed in certain parts of the exhibit, but the more delicate pieces were off limits to photography.

We spent an hour in the exhibit, and when we were done, I asked Claire what her favorite part was. She said it was a tough choice, but she settled on “The Gilded Lady.” This particular one was last seen in public at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. As you can see in the photo (which I was allowed to take), you can see her CT scan, and what she would have looked like (in the reflections).

Claire and "The Gilded Lady"

Claire and “The Gilded Lady” (click image to enlarge)

The juxtaposition of these ancient relics and the marvels of modern science used to see their inner secrets was amazing.

All evening, I thought about this exhibit. I just couldn’t wrap my head around what we’d seen and how old these specimens were. I thought about what these people would think if they knew that thousands of years into the future, they would be on display in a museum. Then, I was struck by two thoughts: On one hand, these people never wanted to be exposed. They did what they could to prevent tomb-robbers, and to protect themselves from the elements. On the other hand, they wanted to live forever…and now they have.

If you get a chance, you need to check out this exhibit. It truly is amazing.

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