Magazine article USA TODAY

Dreaming of Eternal Life: The World's Largest-Ever Traveling Exhibition of Mummies-Including a Child 3,000 Years Older Than King Tut-Comes to America's Shores

Magazine article USA TODAY

Dreaming of Eternal Life: The World's Largest-Ever Traveling Exhibition of Mummies-Including a Child 3,000 Years Older Than King Tut-Comes to America's Shores

Article excerpt

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A 6,420-YEAR-OLD CHILD from Peru, one the oldest mummies ever discovered, joins an astonishing collection in the extraordinary "Mummies of the World," the largest traveling exhibition of mummies and artifacts ever assembled, featuring 150 never-before-seen--at least in North America--real human and animal mummies and objects from South America. Europe. Asia, Oceana, and Egypt. Showcasing state-of-the-art scientific tools and techniques, this groundbreaking exhibit bridges the gap between past and present, showing how science can shed light on the history of people and cultures. It also demonstrates that mummification-through both natural and intentional practices--has taken place all over the globe. from the hot desert sands of South America to remote European moors and bogs.

The treasures presented in the exhibit 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 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.

* The Orlovits family was part of a group of 18th-century mummies discovered in a long-forgotten church 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.

* Baron von Holz was a 17th-century nobleman believed to have died in Sommersdorf, Germany, during the Thirty Years' 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. …

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