Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Large New Exhibit of Mummies

Mummies collected from around the world - wow, wish I could see this: The Dream of Eternal Life. From BBC News: World mummies go on show in Italy Page last updated at 09:27 GMT, Tuesday, 10 March 2009 One of the biggest exhibitions of mummies ever staged is opening in the northern Italian town of Bolzano. The show, called the Dream of Eternal Life, features more than 60 mummies from Egypt, Asia, Europe and South America, assembled from 27 museums. They include animals as well as humans, and the artefacts connected with them. Among the mummies will be the world-famous 5,300-year-old "Iceman" known as Oetzi, a mummified Neolithic hunter who was unearthed in the Alps in 1991. Preserved in a specially built refrigerator, Oetzi is known as the oldest "wet mummy" in the world because of the colouration and texture of his skin. He was named after the Oetz Valley where he was discovered by hikers, still wearing goatskin leggings and a grass cape. His copper-headed axe and a quiver full of arrows were lying nearby. At first, it was thought he died from cold and hunger, but researchers were eventually able to establish that he died from injuries sustained in a conflict. Like Oetzi, some of the other mummies underwent natural mummification in deserts, peat bogs or ice, while the others were mummified artificially. The world's top palaeontologists will hold a series of lectures to mark the exhibition at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology and talk about the mummies' history and significance.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Boca Raton, Florida; January 27, 2009) -- American Exhibitions, Inc., in association with the Reiss-Engelhorn Museum of Mannheim, Germany, announced that the blockbuster exhibit Mummies of the World: The Dream of Eternal Life, the largest traveling exhibition of mummies and artifacts, will tour science centers and museums in the United States for a limited three year tour commencing July 2010.

“Never in history has there been such an important collection of mummies and artifacts,” said Marcus W. Corwin, President and CEO of American Exhibitions, Inc. “This blockbuster exhibit is poised to bring record-breaking attendance to museums in its limited United States tour.”

Dignified, reverent and scholarly, this unique collection brilliantly enhances our educational, scientific and cultural landscape, as mummification provides a window into the lives, history and cultures of every major region of the world.

“The largest mummy exhibition worldwide will include 70 human, animal and reptilian mummies gathered from the four corners of the world,” said Dr. Wilfried Rosendahl, Curator of the Reiss-Engelhorn Museum, Mannheim, Germany. “Visitors will embark on an exciting and historical journey around the globe, with mummies representing several continents and spanning thousands of years.”

Unlike exhibits which feature only Egyptian mummies, this remarkable and compelling exhibition demonstrates the different processes of mummification and serves to educate visitors as to their respective cultures. The collection includes ancient mummies and important artifacts from Asia, Oceania, South America and Europe, as well as ancient Egypt, and demonstrates how mummification can be a natural process; one which occurs in hot, dry desert sands, in eternal ice, in moors and bogs and even, amazingly, in dry cellars.

“Using state-of-the-art scientific and forensic research, the secrets of the mummies are now revealed. Sensational historic research crowns this impressive multi-media exhibition and affords a fascinating cultural and historical insight into people from ancient civilization,” said Dr. Heather Gill-Robinson, renowned anthropologist. “This exhibition offers a unique opportunity for Americans to learn about the lifestyle, health and culture of ancient people from around the world.”

Why do mummies of the ancient and modern worlds fascinate us so? “It is because every one of us shares a yearning for what has come before us,” said James Delay, Vice President of American Exhibitions, Inc. “Natural mummification is so rare and is what elevates this exhibition to an educational level unparalleled to the current scientific and museum arena.”

Mummies are the single direct archive to the human species, the study of which provides great information and data in the context of archaeology, anthropology and science. All mummies in the exhibition originate from established and respected European museum and university collections. The exhibition was prepared in accordance with all recommendations of the International Council of Museums’ (ICOM) code of ethics. The exhibition is presented with respect and dignity, acknowledging the interests of the social, ethical and religious groups from which the mummies originate.

Mummies of the World: The Dream of Eternal Life is presented by American Exhibitions, Inc. in association with the Reiss-Engelhorn Museum, Mannheim, Germany. The exhibition is not merely a presentation of mummies; it originated from the scientific work of the German Mummy Project. The German Mummy Project is an international, multidisciplinary collaboration of specialists from 15 different institutes in 7 countries. The U.S. tour shall be limited to 7 markets for which museums in Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles and St. Louis have expressed interest. The tour dates and sponsors shall be announced shortly.

American Exhibitions, Inc. is a producer of museum-quality touring exhibitions for science centers and museums whose mission is to produce blockbuster exhibits that physically, intellectually and emotionally excite, educate and engage those who experience them. As a member of the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) and the American Association of Museums (AAM), American Exhibitions, Inc. is one of the largest, privately-funded exhibitioners in the United States. The Reiss-Engelhorn Museum, an internationally-acclaimed complex in Mannheim, Germany, has been one of the major venues for exhibitions in Europe in the realms of archeology and world cultures. With a collection that began in the early 1700’s, the museum houses over 1.2 million objects in its collection, comprising over 300,000 square feet of exhibition space.

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