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Event: Peek Inside the New ‘Mummies’ Exhibition at the Museum of Natural History

American Museum of Natural History

A ‘gilded lady’ seen in three different ways (Source: The American Museum of Natural History).

“Mummies in real life can be just as captivating as the ones in the movies — particularly when you can see their insides.

That’s the point of “Mummies,” a new exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History opening on March 20.

On tour from the Field Museum in Chicago, the exhibit not only showcases the ritually preserved bodies and accompanying artifacts of 18 ancient Egyptians and Peruvians from the pre-Columbia era, but the modern technology that makes them more accessible than ever.

“This show simultaneously offers a fascinating window into the past — including two very different ancient worlds, cultures and burial practices — and onto the latest imaging technology used to study them,” museum president Ellen V. Futter said at a preview Thursday.

“Perhaps most thrillingly… we offer an actual glimpse into the actual people entombed as mummies — who they were, what their lives were like, and even what they may have looked like.”

Images, videos, 3D printed objects and interactive touch-screens included in the exhibit present the kinds of discoveries made possible through technologies like computerized tomography (CT) scanning and DNA testing.

In the words of co-curator Dr. David Hurst Thomas, visitors will “come face-to-face with mummified people of the past.”

According to Dr. Thomas, The exhibition’s ‘show-stopper’ is the middle-aged Egyptian “Gilded Lady,” seen above from three different perspectives: the gold-masked coffin that encases her body, a CT scan used to generate a 3D-printed reconstruction of her skull, and a realistic portrait of what she may have looked like” – via This is New York.

“Mummies,” a new exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History opens on March 20.



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