This amazing mummy rests in peace at the Museum of the Weird
At the Museum of the Weird we feature a mummy that might date back 3000 years. The process of mummification is an ancient art practiced by the Egyptians to preserve and prepare the body for the afterlife. Elaborate tombs were built to house the preserved body along with belongings and largess that showed off the wealth of the deceased. The process was very detailed and took months to complete. Poor people could not afford mummification, but would emulate the process by wrapping their dead in linen. (Read details about mummification from the Ancient History Encyclopedia.)
While many details of mummification are known, it has not been regularly practiced for centuries. The modern practice of embalming is the way that we expect to be preserved. As you may recall in our article on postmortem photos, some bodies were viewed and photographed for years after they died.
However, interest in mummification has resurrected, so to speak. In 2012 a terminally ill man willed his body to scientists so they could try to replicate the ancient mummification process. The entire experiment was explicitly captured in the documentary show, Curiosity, Season 2, Episode 2: I Was Mummified. (It’s available to watch for purchase through many outlets. This clip will give you an idea if it’s for you.)
Of course, the art of mummification is not completely lost. The U.S. company, Summum, offers complete mummification services for humans and animals. Here is video from The Discovery Channel’s show One Step Beyond, where the founder of Summum tells a little bit about his inspiration and their process. He’s a little off the beaten track, but I guess you’d have to be.
The already have a number of people willing to pay for mummification. Does that mean we can expect to see more pyramids rising up around the U.S.? If you can afford it, maybe someday you’ll end up in a museum!
In the mean time, come visit ours on 6th Street in Austin, Texas.