Unwrapping the mummy – Performance and Science
2012 12 11

From: PastHorizons

Mummies have been objects of horror and fascination in popular culture since the early 1800s at least — over a century before Boris Karloff portrayed an ancient Egyptian searching for his lost love in the 1932 film “The Mummy.”

Public “unwrappings” of mummified human remains performed by both showmen and scientists heightened the fascination, but also helped develop the growing science of Egyptology.


Margaret Murray, third from left, and team after unwrapping Khnum-Nakht

Dr. Kathleen Sheppard an historian from the Missouri University of Science and Technology argues this point in her latest article entitled “Between Spectacle and Science: Margaret Murray and the Tomb of the Two Brothers” in the December issue of the journal Science in Context.

A public spectacle

While mummy unwrappings served as public spectacles that objectified exotic artefacts, they were also scientific investigations that sought to reveal medical and historical information about ancient life.

On Thursday, 7 May 1908, The Manchester Guardian reported the unveiling of human remains in the Chemistry Theatre at Manchester University. As the “peering collection” of men and women looked on:

“[the ancient mummy] Khnumu Nekht was bared of his wrappings and brought once more to the light of day. . . . Near the body the linen sheets had rotted, and they fell to pieces at a touch. The bones, however, were more or less perfect. There were traces of flesh on them. It was on the whole a gruesome business, and one or two people left early. (“Mummy of Khnumu Nekht” 1908)”

Margaret Alice Murray, was leading the “gruesome business” at the front of the theatre, wearing a white pinafore apron and her hair neatly pinned back.

A few notes survive from the unwrapping in the archives of the Manchester Museum. The only detailed report of the investigation, The Tomb of the Two Brothers, was published two years later and remains today one of the leading studies of the mummification processes and human remains of Middle Kingdom Egypt.

Educating the public

Sheppard says Egyptologist Margaret Murray, the first woman to publicly unwrap a mummy, sought to unravel the mysteries of ancient Egypt by exposing mummified human remains. She says Murray’s work is culturally significant because it is “poised between spectacle and science, drawing morbid public interest while also producing ground-breaking scientific work that continues to this day.”


Margaret Murray and team unwrapping Khnum-Nakht in the Chemistry Auditorium, University of Manchester.


[...]

Read the full article at: pasthorizonspr.com






Mummy Unwrapping Parties
"Nobody knows when mummy unwrapping parties first started, but royalty used to throw them quite often. Although mummy unwrapping ultimately went out of fashion, mummies never have."

See the videos:
http://www.history.com/videos/mummies-mummy-unwrapping-parties






Mummy Unwrapping Parties were a very popular social event in Victorian England. After dinner the guests would retire to the parlor and the mummy would be unwrapped to reveal the contents and search for trinkets, which the guests would keep as party favors.
Source













Tune into Red Ice Radio and guests will speak about how sometimes egyptology and archaeology can be more performance than science:

Robert Bauval - Tutankhamun’s DNA, Zahi Hawass Chasing Mummies & Robert’s Egypt Tour

Robert Bauval - Post-Revolution Egypt

Andrew Collins - Egypt’s Underworld, Tomb of the Birds, Cave of the Snake & Secret Excavation Rumors

Andrew Collins - Beneath The Pyramids, Giza Cave System Rediscovered

Carmen Boulter - The Pyramid Code, Band of Peace, The Migration of the Nile & Cosmic Cycles

Robert Schoch - Hour 1 - The Mystery of the Sphinx

John Anthony West - Ancient Egypt









Related Articles
Mummy Unwrapping Party at the Officer’s Inn February 11th
Who stabbed him in the back? Scan reveals 5,500-year-old mummy murder mystery
DNA of Hungarian mummies may help combat tuberculosis
Mummy with Mouthful of Cavities Discovered
Powdered Mummy, Gladiator Blood, and other Historical Medicines Made from Human Corpses
Company Offers Pet Mummification Service
Mummified Playboy Playmate found in Los Angeles
Mummified remains of babies linked to ’Peter Pan’ author
Mummy unwrapping brought Egyptology to the public
Margaret Murray unwrapping a mummy from Rifeh (1908)


Latest News from our Front Page

Mass Produced Security Robots Introduced in U.S.
2014 08 20
While debate continues to rage about the threat of autonomous "killer robots," the mechanized replacement of humans continues across the workforce. In fact, the robotics industry notched record sales in the first half of 2014 in North America, and there appears to be no indications of a slowdown. Security robots have become a special area of interest for developers. Britain ...
Is Michael Brown A National Hero?
2014 08 19
From: Brother Nathanael: I don’t know about you but I revolt against crowning Michael Brown a “national hero.” Better the crown go to Darren Wilson who according to the Ferguson Police Report shot Brown in self-defense. Yet there’s already a bounty on his head. And the media eats it up. For whether it’s NBC; CNN …or the New York Times; the spin is that ...
Toxoplasmosis – The Revealing Behavior and Effects of Parasites
2014 08 19
A fascinating interview with neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky on toxoplasmosis and the behavior of a seemingly intelligent parasite. The parallels to archonic-type influences are astounding. A must see. From: zengardner.com For context, please listen to John Lash on White Genocide & The Archontic Infection
Emmy Awards 2014 - Spoilers! Leaked Clip for Best Psychopath!!
2014 08 19
WARNING SPOILER ALERT!!! Leaked clip from the 66th Annual Emmy Awards scheduled to air August 25th, 2014. Winner announced for best Psychopath of the year! Video from: youtube.com Can’t get enough of those warm Zionist in Hollywood. Joan Rivers: "Palestinians deserve to be dead"
UN calls for tests on passengers in Ebola crackdown
2014 08 19
Health workers wearing protective clothing prepare to carry an abandoned dead body presenting with Ebola symptoms at Duwala market in Monrovia. Ebola-affected countries should immediately begin exit screening all passengers leaving international airports, sea ports and major ground crossings, the UN health agency urged yesterday. The risk of the Ebola virus being transmitted during air travel is low because, unlike infections ...
More News »