kmt_sesh Posted March 28, 2017 #1 Share Posted March 28, 2017 I brought up this question in the "Let's talk history" thread but think it might be useful as its own topic. I work as a docent in the ancient Egypt exhibits at the Field Museum and the Oriental Institute, both in Chicago. I interact extensively with the public and field countless questions about the collections and ancient Egypt in general. One question I often get but whose answer I can't provide with accuracy is, how many Egyptian mummies are around the world today? One problem is, although most any museum with an Egyptian exhibit will have a helpful website, many museums don't publicly disclose how many mummies they have in their collections. As far as I'm aware, both museums with which I work don't tend to release these figures, even though I know the number just because I've worked at them a long time. So I'm bringing this to the public forum and am looking for help. Are you familiar with your local museum? Does it have an Egyptian collection, and does it have mummies? I know what we come up with will never be precise, but that's okay. An approximation is useful. I know at the Field Museum we have forty Egyptian mummies, 21 of which are usually displayed. The Oriental Institute displays four mummies and has two or three more in storage. The Art Institute in Chicago has a small Egyptian collection including two mummies. Th British Museum actually does disclose its mummy collection and you can peruse it online. The BM has the largest collection of Egyptian antiquities outside of Egypt and has 80 Egyptian mummies and 40 Sudanese mummies. I learned from the "Let's Ta;l History" thread that the Toledo Museum of Art has two mummies. So this is something I'd really be interested in learning more about. How many mummies does your museum have? It doesn't really matter to me if they're on display or in storage—both categories count. I'm looking for Egyptian mummies only, although Sudanese (ancient Nubian) may be included because they learned the practice from Egypt and the tradition was essentially the same. For this census I would include prehistoric Nile Valley mummies as well, even though it was the environment that preserved their bodies (both the Field and the OI have prehistoric mummies, one each, about 5,500 years old). Let me know if you have any questions. We can use this thread to build a census, however informal it may be (I'll be building a spreadsheet because, yes, I am that much of a history geek). And along the way, if the mood strikes, we can chat about mummies. Because mummies are cool. 5 Top Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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