BU Today coverage of BU Archaeology Cabinet of Curiosity & Unrolling of the Mummy

BU Today
10/31/2016 by Amy Laskowski

Event director Ilaria Patania (GRS’17), a PhD candidate in archaeology, said unveiling parties were very fashionable occasions, hosted by those who could afford to buy a mummy as “entertainment for their house party,” and also by professors or hospitals, who would examine the relic in the name of science. The macabre unwrappings often did serious damage to the mummy’s body, and newspaper articles reported women fainting and men having to leave the room. By the 19th century, it became illegal to export mummies from Egypt, and Patania said dealers started to disassemble the mummies to smuggle them out of the country, leaving a lot of western collections with body pieces like heads, hands, or feet.


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