The highly-anticipated Mummies of the World exhibition will make its South Central United States premiere at the Witte Museum on Saturday, September 29, 2012. The presentation in San Antonio will mark the sixth stop of the exhibition’s exclusive U.S. seven-city tour. The exhibition presents a never-before-seen collection of rare mummies from across the world including South America, Europe, Asia, Oceania and Egypt that spans eons of time and transcends history.
With its astounding collection of 150 specimens and objects, Mummies of the World is the largest exhibition of real human and animal mummies and related artifacts ever assembled. Through modern science and engaging interactive and multi-media exhibits, the exhibition reveals how the scientific study of mummies provides a window into the lives of ancient people, offering unprecedented insights into past cultures and civilizations. It also demonstrates that mummification – both through natural processes and intentional practices – has taken place all over the globe, from the hot desert sands of South America to remote European bogs.
“Mummies of the World will change visitors’ understanding of what mummies are and what can be learned from them,” said Marise McDermott, President & CEO of the Witte Museum. “The mummies in this exhibition have been studied using cutting edge, non-intrusive technology to provide insights into lives and cultures of long ago. Modern science truly can shed new light on very old ideas and the Witte is honored to offer such a perception-changing and thought-provoking collection to the region, she added.”
Thee rare and ancient objects presented in Mummies of the World include the Vac Mummies, a mummified family from Hungary believed to have died from tuberculosis; the Baron von Holz, a German nobleman found tucked away in the family crypt of a 14th century castle wearing his best leather boots; an ancient Peruvian woman naturally mummified in the warm desert air, with mysterious tattoos on her face and chest, and long black hair intact; a 6,420-year-old child mummy from Peru, dating 3,000 years before King Tut; and a howler monkey from Argentina, with its fierce expression and adorned with a feather skirt and headdress.
“We are excited to bring Mummies of the World to San Antonio,” said Marc Corwin, president of American Exhibitions, Inc. “Most people think mummies come from Egypt and are wrapped, but mummies come from all over the world. The exhibition is changing centuries-old perceptions about what the general public thinks about mummies and providing insight into the lives and cultures of these ancient people. Inside every mummy is a story waiting to be told, and Mummies of the World is here to tell those stories.”
The concept for the exhibition began with the rediscovery of 21 specimens within the Reiss-Engelhorn Museums of Mannheim, Germany in 2004. A consortium of mummy researchers, known as the German Mummy Project, used DNA analysis, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computer tomography (CT), radiocarbon dating and mass spectrometry to learn more, and engaged the cooperation of 21 world-renowned museums, organizations and collections in seven countries to make this innovative exhibition possible.
The Limited Engagement fee for Mummies of the Worldin addition to general admission is $12 for adults, $11 for seniors (65+) and military (with I.D.) and $11 for children (ages 3-11). The exhibition is generously supported by San Antonio Express-News, Tesoro and the City of San Antonio Office of Cultural Affairs. For more information visit www.WitteMuseum.org orwww.mummiesoftheworld.com.
*Note to editors: high-resolution images are available upon request toshannonstandley@WitteMuseum.org.
About The Witte Museum
The Witte Museum promotes lifelong learning through innovative exhibitions, programs and collections in natural history, science and South Texas Heritage. Founded in 1926 as San Antonio’s premiere museum, the Witte is located on the banks of the beautiful San Antonio River in Brackenridge Park. For more information, please visit www.WitteMuseum.org.
About American Exhibitions
American Exhibitions, Inc. produces world-class touring exhibitions for science centers and museums that excite, educate, and engage visitors. As a longstanding member of the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) and the American Association of Museums (AAM), American Exhibitions, Inc. is one of the leading exhibit producers in the United States. For more information, visit www.americanexhibitions.com.
About Reiss-Engelhorn Museums
Reiss-Engelhorn Museums, an internationally acclaimed museum complex in Mannheim, Germany, is one of the major venues for exhibitions in Europe in the fields of archeology and world cultures. With a collection that began in the early 1700s, the museum houses more than 1.2 million objects in its collection, and has over 300,000 square feet of exhibition space. For more information, visit www.rem-mannheim.de/.