2/22 Mummy Dearest

Everyone loves mummies. But mummies only exist because of the ancient Egyptians’ deeply felt religious beliefs about the afterlife – beliefs that require a very particular treatment of the dead. Removing mummies from their ancient burial sites (and often disassembling or even unwrapping them) and putting them on display in museums for our enjoyment is violently at odds with that belief system. What do we owe the ancient dead?

Here are the images we will be looking at.


The Egyptian Book of the Dead: A guidebook for the underworld” (Ted-Ed talk, 5 minutes)

The Mummification Process” (Getty video),

Egypt Unearths New Mummies Dating Back 2,500 Years,” New York Times, 11/15/20

Christina Riggs, “Should We Be Displaying the Dead Bodies of Preserved Ancestors?” Hyperallergic, 10/20/20;

Michael Press, “Mummies among us,” Aeon, 2020.

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