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You don’t have to travel all the way to Egypt or South America to discover the mysterious world of mummies. Chicago’s Field Museum presents Opening the Vaults: Mummies, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the public to view over 20 mummified human and animal bodies from Egypt and Peru.

Take an up-close look at the mummies—including one of the oldest mummies in the world! Many have not been on display for over a century and are being shown in their original 19th century display cases.

Visitors can also investigate the origins of Egyptian mummification practices; discover why mummification wasn’t only for royal Egyptians; examine the different cultural groups’ funerary customs; check out stone tools from the earliest mummy-making cultures in the deserts of Chili; get a virtual view beneath the wrappings of the Egyptian and South American mummies via CT scans, and find out what these scans reveal about age, sex and health of these individuals.

The exhibit’s last day is Sunday, April 22, so head to The Field Museum this weekend!

“By studying the preserved remains of ancient peoples we can learn more about their lives. By using modern scanning technology, we have uncovered a wealth of new information without damaging the specimens in any way. We can now see pathologies such as injured bones and distorted or missing teeth. Evidence such as this tells us a great deal about the health of individuals.” -Robert D. Martin, A. Watson Armour III Curator of Biological Anthropology at The Field Museum.

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