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Field Museum to unwrap ‘Mummies’ exhibit

(Photo provided)
The Field Museum’s “Opening the Vaults: Mummies” exhibition opens Feb. 17.

The Field Museum of Chicago unwraps its newest exhibition Feb. 17.

“Opening the Vaults: Mummies” offers the public a unique opportunity to view more than 20 mummies from Egypt and Peru dating from about 5,500 to 800 years ago.

The museum obtained most of these remains from the World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893. Many have not been on display since and are being shown in their original 19th century display cases.

The Field Museum has a large collection of Egyptian and Peruvian mummies, many of which had not been thoroughly studied until last year because avoiding damage was a priority. In 2011, Museum scientists performed non-invasive CT scans of several mummies, virtually “unwrapping” them with digital technology. In the exhibition, these mummies are shown along with remarkably detailed scan images, allowing visitors to see for the first time pointers to the methods used for mummification, signs of serious injuries and illnesses, and offerings and jewelry placed inside the wrappings.

“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, said in a written statement.

Because of the fragile nature of these mummies, they will be on display for a limited time through April 22.

Tickets are priced between $22 and $29 for adults, $18 to $24 for seniors and students with ID, and $15 to $20 for children ages 4 to 11. The museum is at 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive. Visitors can travel to the museum via CTA bus lines No. 6 and 146, or by taking the Metra. Parking also is available next to the museum’s east entrance, or inside the Soldier Field underground lot, across the street.

‘Moments with Mark Twain’

The Geneva Lake Art Association presents its spring exhibit, “Moments With Mark Twain,” Feb. 3 through April 29, at its gallery in the North Shore Pavilion, 647 Main St. in Lake Geneva, Wis. (across Main Street from the main post office).

The exhibition features original works by local GLAA artists. GLAA will host an opening reception 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 3 during which the public can meet and interact with artists. Refreshments will be served.

The gallery is open to the public 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays. For information, visit or leave a message at 262- 249-7988.

• Kurt Begalka can be reached at

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