Questions About The Exhibition
We welcome you and your children to experience Mummies of the World: The Exhibition. In this blockbuster exhibition, guests come face-to-face with the largest collection of mummies ever assembled. We encourage you to bring your children, however, every child is different. Please take a moment to review the information below and decide if your child will enjoy Mummies of the World. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to ask any of our team members.
Common questions to discuss with your child
What is this exhibition all about?
Mummies of the World is designed to teach us how mummies were created throughout history in various cultures and environments and as a result of both intentional and natural processes. The exhibition contains real human and animal mummies and artifacts from Europe, South America and Ancient Egypt, some of which date back thousands of years. Through interactive exhibits you will discover how current science tools enable us to study mummies without unwrapping or otherwise damaging them. Studying mummies provides insight into ancient peoples, environments and civilizations, and many of the mummies on display have been recently studied with the latest technology, so that we may uncover new information.
What is a mummy?
Mummification is the process where some of the soft tissues of a deceased body are preserved. Soft tissues are those parts of an organism that usually decay soon after death including skin, muscle, internal organs, hair and nails. Preserved bones and teeth without soft tissue are not considered mummified remains. Mummies were once real people or animals. They no longer look like the people and animals you see every day because the mummification process alters the way they look in many ways.
Are the mummies real?
Mummies of the World is an exhibition of real human and animal bodies that have been preserved through mummification. Mummification occurs after death and is an interruption of the normal process of decomposition.
Where do these mummies come from?
The mummies on display were found in countries all over the world and have been taken care of by universities and museums for many years. Those institutions have loaned the mummies to this exhibition so everyone can learn from them.
The exhibition features a group of fascinating mummies and artifacts on loan from 12 world-renowned museums, organizations and collections coming from five countries.
- The Vác Mummies, a mummified family from Hungary believed to have died from tuberculosis
- Baron Von Holz, a German nobleman found tucked away in the family crypt of a 14th-century castle wearing his best boots after perishing in the castle while seeking refuge from the Thirty Years' War
- The Burns Collection, a group of medical mummies used to teach anatomy in the early 19th century
- Animal mummies including a falcon, a fish, a hare, and a cat some of which were deliberately preserved to accompany Egyptian royals for eternity and some of which were naturally mummified
- MUMAB, the first experimental mummy made in 1994 by researchers at the University of Maryland, Baltimore
Strollers are permitted inside the exhibition. Please be aware of the artifacts within when visiting the exhibition. There is a designated space outside the exhibition entrance where you can park your stroller as well.
Yes. Mummies of the World: The Exhibition requires a timed-entry ticket. Advance purchase is highly recommended. Guests can purchase tickets online or in person at Arizona Science Center.
Featured Exhibition: Adults: $11.95 | Children (3–17): $9.95
General Admission: Adults: $18 | Children (3–17): $13
General admission is required to visit the featured exhibition.
General Admission: FREE
Featured Exhibition: Adults: $9.95 | Children (3–17): $7.95
Arizona Science Center is generally busiest during the late mornings and early afternoons. The exhibition has scheduled entry times. This allows guests to have the best experience. We recommend purchasing online to reserve your time slot. Please note, however, that same-day admission tickets for Mummies of the World: The Exhibition will not be sold after 4 p.m. to allow guests adequate time to view the exhibition.
On weekday mornings, you’ll likely encounter lots of adorable, happy young faces from kids across the valley on field trips. If you prefer a quieter atmosphere, we suggest grabbing lunch and then coming to the Center after 1 p.m.
Mummies of the World: The Exhibition will be on view from February 10 to September 2, 2019. Be one of the first to see the exhibition, tickets available for Galaxy Gala, February 9. Use the button above in the ticket pricing section.
A mummy is the dead body of an animal or a human that has been preserved after death so that it does not decompose. To be considered a mummy and not just a skeleton, the body must keep some of its soft tissue, such as hair, skin or muscles.
Mummification takes place when the process of decay is blocked, generally from a lack of moisture or oxygen. This can happen as an intentional process, which is sometimes referred to as intentional or artificial mummification, or as a natural process, which is sometimes referred to as natural or accidental mummification.
Some cultures, like the Egyptians, practiced intentional or artificial mummification, removing the internal organs and treating the corpses with some type of resin or chemical (often called embalming), and then bandaging or wrapping them. Natural mummification often occurs as a result of an environment where temperature, humidity or other conditions have preserved the remains. This may have happened accidentally, when people either died in locations where environmental conditions preserved the bodies or when people were purposely placed in locations that would mummify the body, such as a dry, cool cave, a bog or crypt.
The human and animal mummies in Mummies of the World were once real living people and animals and represent the wide variety of mummies that have been found in different regions of the earth. Every mummy in Mummies of the World is treated with dignity and respect.
Mummies provide a window to the past, teaching us about the lives, history, and cultures of every region of the world. By studying mummies, we can learn more about the times and places in which they lived. Through modern science, their bodies tell us scientific facts; how tall people were and how long they lived, what kinds of food they ate and the diseases and injuries they suffered from. Clothing, jewelry and other personal artifacts placed on or with a mummy can tell us about the person’s status and lifestyle, as well as the values, beliefs, and attitudes of the culture in which they lived. By knowing how people lived long ago, we can better understand how differently people live today. This allows us to observe how cultures change over time and give us insight into how our own culture may change in the future.
Not all mummies come from Egypt and are wrapped. In fact, mummies come from all over the world and have been found on every continent. Mummies of the World features mummies from Europe, South America and ancient Egypt. The collection includes mummies that have been intentionally preserved, and mummies that have been naturally preserved and found in places as varied as deserts, caves, salt, sand, cellars, crypts and bogs.