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Mummies of the World exhibit opens Thursday

June 28, 2010 12:35:05 AM PDT
Very few symbols from the ancient world inspire our curiosity as much as "mummies." What did those ancient living beings see and experience? The highly anticipated Mummies of the World exhibit opens in Los Angeles this week.

The California Science Center may feature the latest modern technology, but its new exhibit is digging deep into the past. Really deep in some cases.

"Mummies of the World is the largest exhibition of real mummies ever assembled, and it's having its world debut at the California Science Center," said Dr. Diane Perlov, California Science Center.

Los Angeles is finally hosting some celebrities who have a good reason for being all skin and bones, and there are a lot of them: roughly 45 amazingly preserved humans. Hair still braided, pearly whites -- well, not quite white anymore, but still there. And one woman's tattoo is still visible. Plus, what your eyes can't show you, technology can.

"From radio-carbon dating, CT scans, X-rays, computed tomography, we're able to reveal the secrets that mummies can now tell us like never before," said James Delay, Mummies of the World spokesperson.

And then there are the Egyptian mummies. A big goal for the exhibit is to let people know that these are found on every continent. One baby comes from Peru, and it's got quite a few years on old King Tut.

"This child is a 6,400-year-old mummy from South America. He is in remarkable condition," said Dr. Heather Gill-Frerking, director of science and education, Mummies of the World. "This mummy is 3,000 years older, roughly, than King Tut, so this is a substantially older mummy. They were mummifying in South America long before the Egyptians."

But while the mummies seemingly last forever, the exhibit will not. It runs through the end of November. After that, they're history -- in more ways than one.


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