Treatment of two badly damaged Egyptian mummies and associated coffins

J.P. Brown, Mimi Leveque, and Morgan Nau


The Field Museum has one of the larger collections of Egyptian mummies in the United States. In this article we discuss the analysis and treatment of Egyptian mummies in preparation for a traveling exhibit, with particular focus on two mummies with coffins, both quite fragile. Such a situation combines the ethical questions of restoration and respect for human remains and ancient religious practice. In particular, we look at the problems of stabilizing and restoring human remains; inverting large, fragile, nonrigid objects for examination and treatment; stabilizing and restoring painted wooden coffins; reconstructing cartonnage; and using laser, computed tomography, and photogrammetric three-dimensional imaging to design and fabricate display and travel mounts for the treated objects.

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2017 | Chicago | Volume 24