Chicago Traveler Blog

Chicago Traveler Blog

The Field Museum’s New Exhibit Unwraps Mummy Past

2/27/12 | by

They’ve sat untouched and unseen since the World’s Fair in Chicago back in 1893, and now 20 mummies have emerged from their crypts to be viewed by the world once again.

The Field Museum has just opened their latest exhibit, “Opening the Vaults: Mummies,” where they have used new technology on these mummies to analyze specimens from as far back as 5,500 years ago.

This technology, CT scans, allow you to peel off the layers of the mummy and see what’s underneath without damaging it. Incredibly, it can reveal who the mummies were, how they died and even their occupation.

Most are around the time of Cleopatra, and they’ve been waiting thousands of years for this moment -- their mortality.

And don’t just expect to ride down the Egyptian Nile, because these mummies actually come from all around the world including Peru, Chile, Ecuador and of course, Egypt.

The collection even includes one of the oldest mummies in the world!

While we question the Field Museum’s prowess in keeping these extraordinary specimens under wraps for more than 100 years, the museum is known for hiding treasures behind the scenes. In actuality, only one percent of the 24 million items the Field Museum has in its collection are currently on display. Who knows what other secrets this place is guarding behind lock and key.

Now, the exhibit isn’t exactly one of the cheapest the Field Museum has debuted. It costs $22. But we do have to say, it’s pretty cool.

Some of the mummies haven’t even been removed from their original storage crates, so it really feels like you’ve gone back in time and walked straight in to the Pyramids of Giza. And the CT scans add a lot to the exhibit as well. Rather than just viewing the mummy, they allow you to somewhat get to know the mummy -- even finding out if they lived with curly or straight hair.

Be sure to head to the Field Museum soon though. Since the museum had to find a balance between displaying the mummies and not showing them for too long so that they don’t ruin them, the mummy exhibit will only stay open until April 22.