World of mummies unwrapped at OMSI

Discover why presenters say this new traveling exhibition is fascinating, and isn’t really all that creepy …

Visitors move among the displays in a portion of Mummies of the World: The Exhibition, now at OMSI.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Having traveled nearly 800 miles from its last stop, in Salt Lake City, the largest exhibition of real mummies and related artifacts ever assembled came to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), and opened to the public in June.

At the opening of Mummies of the World: The Exhibition, American Exhibitions Inc. President Marcus Corwin pointed out, “Not all mummies come from Egypt. In fact, this exhibit will show you mummies and related artifacts from South America, Europe, Asia, Oceania – as well as ancient Egypt.”

American Exhibitions Inc. President Marcus Corwin tells how the mummies in this collection were gathered from the four corners of the globe.

The exhibition goes beyond showing of deceased individuals, Corwin told East Portland News. “We have an expression: ‘Inside every mummy is a story to be told’. Today, with modern tools, scientists are able to study mummies non-invasively. Radio-carbon dating, DNA analysis, and beautiful imaging, allow people to see what scientists see when they study a mummy.

“Most of the study is of how many people lived and how they died,” said Corwin.

Ella Carrasco and Laurel Ackerman, view specimens on display at Mummies of the World: The Exhibition, now at OMSI.

OMSI President Nancy Stueber examines a mummy at their featured summer exhibition.

OMSI President Nancy Stueber commented, “It is rare to find a collection of mummies from different cultures, in different countries, from all over the world. It’s not typically something you can see at one museum. The fact we can bring it here to the Pacific Northwest is really pretty exciting.”

The exhibit of about 40 mummies really is family fare, Stueber opined. “The ‘Hollywood image’ of mummies is that they can be scary – but this is not like that. They’re really fascinating, and not frightening.

“Most of all, this is a great opportunity to learn about who these people were, when they were alive,” Stueber explained.

Dr. Heather Gill-Frerking, Director of Science & Education with the Mummies of the World exhibition, tells about the mummy of a woman – thought to have been a “healer” – on display, now at OMSI.

What does a mummy feel like? These guests find out, at OMSI’s Mummies of the World: The Exhibition.

The exhibit is elegantly designed and tastefully presented. The collection, points out OMSI, is presented with reverence and dignity.

Mummies of the World: The Exhibition is open to the public in OMSI’s Featured Hall during regular museum hours until September 8. There is an additional fee to view this exhibition.

Learn more by visiting the OMSI website: CLICK HERE.

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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