LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - Apr 14, 2015) - New scientific findings once bound in ancient and mummified Egyptian and Peruvian remains will be revealed when the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) presents the world premiere of Mummies: New Secrets from the Tombs, the first touring exhibition of North America's largest collection of mummies. Organized by The Field Museum, the exhibition provides a rare and immersive look at their preeminent collection of mummies -- which has never traveled outside of the museum -- going beyond mummification in royal Egypt to explore the surprising similarities and vast differences between these societies, their environments and the preparations they made for the dead in the afterlife.
On view from September 18, 2015 through January 18, 2016, Mummies: New Secrets from the Tombs features over 20 mummies and coffins including one of the oldest mummies in the world, from Pre-Dynastic Egypt to Pre-Incan Peru, alongside archaeological treasures such as sarcophagus fragments, mummified heads and "trophy skulls," stone masks, animal mummies, and pots to bring food and beer into the afterlife. Using modern and non-invasive research techniques, scientists and curators were able to avoid the hazards of unwrapping the fragile specimens to virtually uncover a wealth of new discoveries about the mummy individuals -- each sacred storehouses of natural and cultural information. The exhibition presents these findings through the use of CT scans, 3D printed casts of bones and burial figurines; forensically reconstructed sculptural busts by renowned artist Elisabeth Daynès; and interactive touch tables for digitally unwrapping mummies to explore their interior. To celebrate the Los Angeles premiere, NHM will extend its opening day hours through midnight on Friday, September 18.
- Reconstructions of a Chancay culture burial pit (Peru) and tomb of the 26th Dynasty (Egypt) to gain a deeper understanding of archaeological discoveries and their contexts.
- CT scans, X-rays, and 3D-printed skulls unlock mysteries inside the five Peruvian mummies profiled in the exhibition. One of the Peruvian mummy bundles is visually unwrapped by CT scan to reveal a female who died in childbirth and was mummified with her newborn.
- Mummification tools and a clay burial mummy mask show how the Chinchorro peoples memorialized their dead, while the sitting bundles of the Chancay society are portrayed in layers of colorful textiles surrounded by offerings of guardian figurines and pots of beer and food.
- The Egyptian section features stone sarcophagus fragments, intricately painted coffins and animal mummies such as cats and a gazelle paired with rich objects and specimens.
- One of the most intact and oldest mummies in the world from Egypt before the pharaohs as well canopic jars, simple and complex wrapping techniques, and gilded masks from later periods highlight the different mummification methods (artificial and natural) used by different social classes in ancient Egypt.
- The 14-year-old boy "Minirdis," a remarkable 2,000 year-old Ptolemaic mummy with a coffin dating from the 25th or 26th century BC.
- Gilded Lady, the mummy of a 40-year-old female of the Roman era, paired with CT scans to reveal her age, a slight overbite and curly Cleopatra-like hair.
- A brother and sister of the Ptolemaic era, both about 11 years old when they died, with superbly gilded and decorated masks.
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