Thursday, June 11, 2009

Mexican Mummies Embarking on U.S. Tour!

The famous mummies of Museo de las Momias in Guanajuato, Mexico (see above) are embarking upon a U.S. tour! Their first stop--just announced today--will be the Detroit Science Center in Detroit, Michigan; it is unclear what other cities will be included in the tour, though it has been remarked that there will be 6 other U.S .destinations. Let's hope New York City (or somewhere in the outlying area) makes the cut!

Here is the full story, found in today's Detroit News:
Mexican mummies visit Detroit in October
Kim Kozlowski / The Detroit News

Detroit -- A rare glimpse into the mystery of death will be on display at the Detroit Science Center in October with the first U.S. exhibit of 36 mummies from a World Heritage site in Mexico, museum officials plan to announce today.
The 100-year-old mummies will be on loan from the Museo de las Momias in Guanajuato, Mexico.

"This is the largest and most significant collection of mummies in the Western hemisphere," said Kelly Fulford, spokeswoman for the Detroit Science Center. "It's a phenomenal opportunity to view something really rare and unique ... something you wouldn't be able to see unless you travelled to Mexico."

The Mexican museum opened in the late 1800s after mummified corpses of men, women and children were exhumed from the colonial city's cemetery because their families could no longer pay the crypt fee. Some of the corpses were discovered to have "accidentally" or naturally mummified, meaning nature, not man, stopped their decomposition.

Today 111 natural mummies have attracted visitors to the museum in the city, northwest of Mexico City, since the early 1900s.

Mummy scholars who have been conducting research in Detroit say the exhibit will offer a repository of anthropological, medical and cultural information.
"When you come to this exhibit, you will get to know these people," sad Ronald Beckett, a Phoenix-based Fulbright scholar who studies mummies around the world. "The exhibit will tell the individual human stories of these long-dead people, and give them their identity back."

Museum visitors, for instance, will learn about the health of the mummies in the forensic room of the five-room display. This will be done with the help of modern medical technologies such as computer tomography, endoscopy and DNA analysis.

"The study of old pathologies puts a light on health issues today," said Vivian Henoch, medical exhibit developer. "Anything we glean from the mummies informs what we do and how we advance our understanding of many health issues."

The traveling mummy exhibit will leave Detroit in 2010 and go on to six other U.S. destinations before retuning to Mexico in 2012.
You can see the original article by clicking here. For more about the mummies, you can visit the Museo de las Momias website by clicking here; you can also visit website that has been created for the traveling exhibition--entitled "Accidental Mummies of Guanajuato--by clicking here. Note: I highly recommend you take some time to peruse the photo galleries on these sites.

Image Source: The Detroit News

1 comment:

Caryn F. said...

Sooo cool! I can't wait to see it! I'm not far outside Detroit, and I'm gonna be there this October for sure! Thanks for letting me know about this awesome oppertunity!