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Featured Mummy Museums @ Mummy Tombs

Northeast United States Museums

 

Maine

Wiscasset: There once was an Egyptian mummy on display at the Nonesuch Antique Store

Antique dealer Terry Lewis purchased the 3000-year-old mummy from a small museum in New Hampshire that was going out of business. Supposedly the mummy was an Egyptian princess. When the press publicized Lewis's purchase, the Egyptian government heard about the mummy and (believing that it was royal) asked for it back. Lewis requested $20,000; the Egyptian government refused.

Then experts from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston were called in to examine the mummy: was it an Egyptian princess? They discovered that the mummy definitely was not a princess. How did they make this determination?"The mummified penis was still attached to the body," one expert explained, according to a Third Age Media report. "I don't know how the penis was overlooked for so long, but probably no one was looking for it." 

Sometime in the late 1990s Lewis sold the mummy to the Niagara Falls Museum in Toronto. In 1999, the Niagara Falls Museum sold its collection of nine mummies to the Michael C. Carlos Museum (part of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia). The Wiscasset mummy was apparently one of the mummies sold to the museum. Also among the nine mummies was Rameses I.

When Terry Lewis died in 2006, the entire collection of antiques from his store was sold. 

Massachusetts

Boston: The Museum of Fine Arts displays many mummies from its collection. Also, The Ether Dome of the Massachusetts General Hospital has a resident mummy named Padiherschef.

Pittsfield: The Berkshire Museum has a Ptolemaic Egyptian mummy.

Salem: The Peabody-Essex Museum has a female Egyptian mummy.

Worcester: The Worcester Art Museum has a Ptolemaic Egyptian mummy. And The College of the Holy Cross also has an Egyptian mummy.

New York

Ithaca: The Anthropology Collection of Cornell University (in McGraw 150; by appointment only) houses two mummies. According to an article in the Cornell Daily Sun by Courtney Potts: "One of the mummies is Egyptian and according to the sarcophagus, the mummified person's name is Penpi. A male in his late 20s, Penpi probably lived between 817 and 730 B.C. He was found in Thebes and joined the collection in the 1870s. Penpi was donated by G. Pomeroy, who was the American consul in Cairo at that time. Sadly, Penpi is no longer in mummy form. He was improperly dissected several years ago; now only his skeleton remains. The other mummy is a Peruvian woman in her late 30s who probably lived around A.D. 1400. She was donated by the first Peruvian student at Cornell, a member of the Larco family. Unlike Penpi, the mummified woman's name is unknown."

New York City:

The Metropolitan Museum in Manhattan exhibits many beautiful mummy cases, but you'll have to look hard to find the three mummies I saw displayed on my last visit: one from the Roman period, one from the Late Period, and the third (and best) named Kharushere from the Twenty-second Dynasty. But be warned: it's not a very kid-friendly museum!

The Brooklyn Museum exhibits many outstanding mummy cases and artifacts but only one or two mummies. You won't find the crowds here that you do at the Met. This makes the museum quite a bit more appealing. 

Pennsylvania

Philadelphia: 

Reading: The Reading Public Museum displays a female Egyptian mummy dating from 550 to 250 B.C. as well as a cat mummy. (Thank you, S. J. Wolfe of the American Antiquarian Society.)

Vermont

Burlington: The Fleming Museum on the campus of the University of Vermont displays a 2600-year-old Egyptian mummy that is one of the museum's most popular exhibits. According to a newspaper account, "In the early 1900s, UVM professor George Henry Perkins traveled to Cairo's Royal Museum of Egypt and came home with the painted coffin and its contents. He paid just thirty-five dollars, part of a spending spree that formed much of the University's ancient Egyptian collection." Little is known about her; researchers haven't been able to determine her cause of death or even her name. The newspaper account continues, "Her coffin reveals very few clues. Experts in hieroglyphics told the Fleming much of the painting is nonsense: just decorations, so she has no name. The fact she was buried in sycamore wood suggests she was likely middle class, and x-rays indicate she was probably a teenager when she died. Those x-rays also show the embalmers broke her bones wrapping her up, or perhaps, when they removed her internal organs."