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'Mummies Of The World' Is Well Worth The Price

Jessika Walsten |
July 10, 2010 | 4:28 p.m. PDT

News Editor

Mummies of the World exhibition (Photo taken by Jessika Walsten)
Mummies of the World exhibition (Photo taken by Jessika Walsten)
It’s amazing how the little things tend to stick with us the most.

Red fingernails. The tiny feet of a child. A braid of thick black hair.

These seemingly inconsequential things remind us we are human and connect us to people we never knew.
These things are what make the mummies of the “Mummies of the World” exhibit like us.

The dark red fingernails belong to a man from 408 B.C.; those tiny feet belong to a Coptic child from roughly 714 A.D.; that braid of black hair clings to the head of a Pre-Columbian child found in Peru from the 14th Century A.D.

The exhibit, which runs through the summer at the California Science Center, provides the curious with a window into the lives of these people, displaying 150 mummified humans, animals and artifacts.

Exhibit goers also learn about artificial and natural mummification processes through interactive stations and can even find out what mummified skin feels like.

All of this is done with reverence to the dead, respectfully requesting no photography of the exhibit.

However, one can’t help but notice the retail store at the end selling shirts, mugs and shot glasses (among other items) emblazoned with the exhibit name. I know the museum needs to make money, but does this really mesh with the idea of reverence? Does making money off of the dead really scream “respectful”?

While the answers to those questions are debatable, the importance of this exhibit is not. The exhibit gives people the opportunity to see the past, learning much more than we could ever learn from a TV special or newspaper article.

So, go check out the mummy and sarcophagus of Nes-pa-qa-shuti, the vividness of the sarcophagus’ paint more than 2,000 years later is amazing; take a look at the Baron von Holtz and the Baroness Schenck von Geiern, who were preserved in their family’s crypt; get to know the Orlovits family, who were found in a forgotten room of a Hungarian church.

It’s surprising what you’ll remember the most.

Where: California Science Center at Exposition Park
When: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily
Cost: Adults (18-59) $19.50, Seniors (60+) $16.50, Youth (13-17) $16.50, Children (4-12) $12.50
For more information call (323) SCIENCE or visit http://www.californiasciencecenter.org/MainPage.php.


To reach Jessika Walsten, click here.



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