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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

Mummies exhibit too scary for kids?



mummyheads.jpgWith haunting images of shriveled flesh and sunken stares, mummies are the stuff of nightmares. So is the new Mummies of the World exhibit coming to MOSI on Friday for a four-month stay too scary for kids? I certainly had that concern when the Bodies exhibit was at MOSI. The thought of those being actual human beings on display just creeped me out.

Marc Corwin, president of American Exhibition, producer of the Mummies of the World exhibit, said they took kids into account and made pains to emphasize the science of mummification and play down the scare factor. (I'm not sure they can play down the creepy factor if they tried)  Of the 200,00 visitors at the exhibition’s first stop in Los Angeles, half of them were families with young children, Corwin said.

It helps that there are several interactive kiosks where kids can find out what a mummy feels like or see 3D images of the high-tech scans scientists used to find out what the mummies died of or how old they were.

Here's what the Mummies exhibit entails: This traveling exhibit is a rarity because it involves 21 different museums from around the world, making it the largest exhibition of real human and animal mummies and related artifacts ever assembled. It will remain on display through Sept. 3. Mummification is rare, since it requires the preservation of soft tissue, such as skin, muscle or organs. Without that, it's a skeleton. That's why people are fascinated by them, since they are more human looking.

mummymonkey.jpg“They will learn the science of mummification and why some people decompose and why do some end up in this limbo,” Corwin said. “We have these unique time travelers who for some reason their decomposition stopped and here they are for eternity.”

This is "very different and shouldn’t be confused with Bodies," Corwin said. Bodies featured human anatomy and bodies unfolded to dislay their organs and veins, "Here people are able to see mummies of humans and also animals (like this monkey at left) from all over the world and related artifacts and science books and different tools and rituals."

The exhibit has a mummy of a 10 month infant child that carbon dating has found to be 6,420 years old. "That’s 3,000 years older than King Tut," Corwin said. "We are talking about something that is ancient and rare and never been seen before."

--Sharon Kennedy Wynne

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[Last modified: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 1:08pm]


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