PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Whether you are a huge fan of science, history, medicine, or art, the new Mummies of the World Exhibition promises something for everyone.
The display has received worldwide acclaim. Before coming to town, it was on display in Phoenix. Before that, it spent months in Budapest.
This Saturday, it opens in Pittsburgh at the Carnegie Science Center.
“We are so proud to bring them here to the Pittsburgh region,” says the Interim Director of the Carnegie Science Center Jason Brown. “It illuminates the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math in many different ways.”
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The traveling exhibition is so large it frankly would not have fit in the Science Center’s exhibit space before the recent expansion. They now have 13,000 feet of space for the mummies to spread out and stay awhile.
Dennis Bateman, the Center’s Director of Exhibits is thrilled to be able to bring it to the banks of the Ohio River.
“This exhibit has been to Europe, Asia, the United States,” he said. “We are able to bring it here to Pittsburgh because there literally is no place between New York and Chicago that could take something like this.”
There are 40 human and animal mummies on display.
Scientifically, a mummy is defined as a living organism where the decay process was stopped and there is still tissue attached to the bone. The tissue may be skin or fingernails, even hair. It can happen naturally in very dry climates or very cold climates, places where there is an absence of moisture that often leads to decay.
In addition to the mummies, there are hundreds of ancient artifacts and tools to see. While most people think of mummies as being ancient relics, one of them at the Science Center is only 25 years old. It was created by Maryland researchers in Baltimore who used age-old Egyptian methods and tools to preserve a man.
Jason Simmons has traveled the world with the Exhibit. He is very excited for the people of Pittsburgh to be able to see it. He hopes it will clear up a few misconceptions.
“Mummies are not just Egyptian, that they can happen from anywhere,” Simmons said. “They have been found in every part of the world. If there was a living organism there, mummification can happen.”
One of the amazing pieces in the collection is a latex bust of King Tut. It was created in France after scientists used 3D CT Scans of the mummy to re-create what the boy king would have looked like 3,300 years ago when he died.
Portions of the exhibit may be a bit frightening to some, and some of the exhibit looks a bit like scary Halloween costumes. The Science Center has an online Parents’ Guide on its website to help you decide if it is appropriate for your family.
The Exhibition’s General Manager says she knows it has led to many important conversations among family members.
“By bringing their grandkids to this exhibit, it opened up the discussion of them about life and death and nothing’s permanent,” says Donna West of Mummies of the World. “So we kind of like to say, this is our own little circle of life in here.”
Pre-sale tickets have been going quickly. More than 3,100 have been sold, more than any other exhibit in the Science Center’s history.
Mummies of the World will be in Pittsburgh through April 19th, 2020.