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Mummies of Interest

The treasures presented in Mummies of the World include one of the oldest mummy infants ever discovered; the first-ever presentation of an entire mummified family; a German nobleman discovered by his own descendants; and Egyptian animal mummies, ritually preserved to accompany royals for eternity.

The Detmold Child is a Peruvian child mummy in a remarkable state of preservation, radiocarbon dated to 4504 – 4457 B.C. – more than 3,000 years before the birth of King Tut.  A recent CT scan investigation reveals details about the child’s age, health and cause of death.  It is on loan from the Lippisches Landesmuseum in Detmold, Germany.

The Orlovits family was part of a group of 18th century mummies discovered in a long-forgotten crypt in Vac, Hungary in 1994.  Michael and Veronica Orlovits and their son, Johannes, were among those preserved by the cool dry air and oil from the pine boards used to build their coffins.  Extensive research including DNA analysis offers answers about their conditions and cause of death.  They are on loan from the Hungarian Natural History Museum, Budapest.

Baron von Holtz is a 17th century nobleman believed to have died in Sommersdorf, Germany during the Thirty Year’s War (1618 – 1648).  He was discovered in the family crypt of the von Crailsheim family’s late 14th century castle, still wearing his top boots.  CT scans revealed clues about his anatomy, age and approximate date of birth and death.  Baroness Schenck von Geiern, another von Crailsheim ancestor, was found in the family crypt.  Loaned by Dr. Manfred Baron von Crailsheim, Sommersdorf.

Egyptian animal mummies are elaborately wrapped in painted linen bandaging, holding fascinating clues to life and death in ancient Egypt.  The Egyptian cat mummies in this exhibition date to the Ptolemaic period and show how Egyptian cats were ritually embalmed in a lengthy process using salt and various resins.  These mummies are on loan from various museums in Germany.


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