Artificial cranial deformation, or head binding, is a practice carried out by cultures all over the world, and throughout time. Dr. Robert Martin talked to us about how the tradition was implemented by figures of high status in Ancient Egypt. Read more about Why did King Tut have a flat head?
Welcome to the Anthropology Collections Curation Portal! Know something we don’t know about objects in the anthropology collections at the Field Museum? Please use this portal to add new information to the Museum’s collections database.Learn more about Anthropology Curation Portal
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
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"
Mummies: Images of the Afterlife will begin touring in September, 2015. Stay tuned to see them visiting a museum near you! Read more about Mummy Brains
Using state of the art technology, Anthropologists from The Field Museum had the opportunity to examine Egyptian mummies for the first time. Check out the amazing images that they produced using a portable medical CT scanner. These mummies have been part of the Museum collections for many years and thanks to proper conservation methods, researchers are now able to work with them without causing any damage. Read more about Video: Gilded Lady, The Mummy