Mummies taking over the Franklin Institute

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

The largest collection of real mummies in the world arrived at the Franklin Institute Tuesday morning.

"We are proud that the Franklin Institute will host one of the world's most astounding exhibitions, said Franklin Institute Vice President Troy Collins.

In a rare behind the scenes look we watched as 40 mummies from around the world arrived at the Franklin Institute's loading dock under tight security. The collection, described as priceless, is the largest of its kind anywhere.

"We're talking about intentional mummification and accidental," said Collins. "Animals, humans - many, many ways humans and nature have preserved humans over the years."

"Mummies of the World" is a broad-based exhibit, showing cultures around the world. It has not yet been seen in New York or Washington, D.C. so there is a lot of anticipation in the region.

One of the mummies is 6,420 years old! That's 3,000 years older than King Tut! Dr. Heather Gill-Frerking is about as excited as a so-called "mummyologist" can be.

"This exhibit is extremely unique, mummies from every continent except Antarctica, never seen before," said Gill-Frerking. "This is a really unusual collection from 20 different institutions throughout Europe."

Inside the museum there will be hands-on exhibits. You will learn that a lot of the mummies were mummified environmentally or naturally, like a frog that was mummified by sand and heat. "Mummies of the World" debuts Saturday June 18th at the Franklin Institute.

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