After cleaning, the first part of Minirdis’ burial equipment that we treated was his coffin. The coffin was constructed of wood panels joined with wood dowels. A layer of an orange colored plaster like material had been applied over the wood to fill gaps between the wood panels and provide a smooth surface. On top of the plaster layer, the coffin had been painted black with red and yellow decoration. Read more about Through thick and thin! Stabilizing the Plaster on Minirdis’ Coffin
Blogs & Videos: Archaeology
Removing the lid of the coffin was just the start. Now there was the problem of removing the damaged mummy from the lower half of the coffin. With the lid off we found that the right side piece, which had been held in place by the lid, was detached from the bottom of the coffin and could easily be removed. This meant that the mummy could be slid out, instead of trying to pick it up – good news because the assembly was very fragile. Even so, this was no small task, and it took four people to safely move him out of the coffin. Read more about How to Uncoffin a Mummy
The very first mummy and coffin we treated for this project was that of Minirdis. We know his name from the hieroglyphs on the coffin. Read more about Opening the Coffin of Minirdis
Traveling exhibits pose a challenge for museums, especially when particularly fragile objects such as mummies are involved. We want to share our objects and what we’ve found out about them with people outside the museum, but transporting the objects to other museums involves all kinds for risks – traffic accidents, malfunctioning forklifts, road vibration, and freezing winters to name just a few. Read more about Introduction to the Conservation of "Mummies: Images of the Afterlife"
Learn more about FMWIS intern Madeleine Farris, and her work with Emily Baca and Ryan Patrick Williams. Madeleine's project, "Archaeological Study of Peruvian Materials in the South American Laboratory" involved working with ceremanics and pottery to learn more about Inca economy and society. Read more about Field Museum Women in Science (FMWIS) Internships 2014 -- Madeleine Farris
The centuries before China’s unification under the Qin Dynasty (221 BC) are known as the Warring States period, an era when large armies clashed in fierce competitions for power and territory. The rulers of these competing large states amassed giant armies of tens of thousands of infantrymen, who marched in combat against their enemies. In China, one innovation against such attacks was the construction of fortification walls built along borders. Read more about An Earlier Great Wall of China
Properly piecing together a rare early human skull (12,000 to 15,000 years old!) is a difficult task, but Robert Martin and JP Brown are pioneering the usage of medical technologies to give us a better picture of what Magdalenian Woman really looked like. Read more about Video: Putting Heads Together
Ceremonial structures like the 5,000-year-old temples I have been investigating at Huaricanga are marvels to behold. Often such buildings are well-maintained and represent the dedicated effort of ancient individuals who invested considerable time and materials in their construction. Walls and doorways tend to have elaborate decorations as well. When discovered, temples and churches receive quite a bit of attention from public media. Read more about Using Modern Technology to Construct Ancient Ritual
Thanks to the generous support of the Field Museum's Women's Board, I have been able to purchase a high-powered microscope to conduct micro-analysis of stone tools from the Late Archaic (3,000-1,800 B.C.) site of Huaricanga in the Fortaleza Valley of Peru's north-central coast. The Late Archaic is also known as the Late Preceramic because it was a epoch BEFORE the advent of ceramics in ancient Peru. Therefore, stone tools represent the predominate artifact recovered from archaeological digs. Read more about Flakes, Cores, and Groundstones Oh My!