Detailed ceramic pots and jars are often found with mummies. The Paracas culture offered objects like this double-spouted jar that bears the face of a jaguar.
Egypt and parts of Peru may have similarly dry desert climates, but mummification in the regions is notably different. The differences are likely connected to the beliefs about the practice. "Mummies" explores the similarities as well as the differences between the cultures, societies, environments and burial traditions.
These limestone jars carved with representations of the four sons of Horus were designed to hold the organs of the dead. The symbols of the four deities were carved upon removable lids and were placed to protect the organs and serve the dead through the afterlife.
In touch with history
Another touch-screen station allows guests to handle a canopic jar model. This specimen would have held a mummy's stomach.
Millions of animal mummies have been discovered in cemeteries. Archaeologists explain that these were not pets, but rather offerings to Egyptian gods who were associated with specific animals.
Items buried with mummies in Egyptian tombs provided for the dead in the afterlife. Wealthy Egyptians were buried with servants represented by figurines called shawabti. Preferably a year's worth of servants along with 36 overseers, one for each Egyptian week, were supplied as well.
Likely, this gazelle was raised at a temple specifically to be mummified for a burial offering.
A baby crocodile was intricately wrapped and buried as an offering in an Egyptian tomb.
Remembering their past
At the "Mummies" exhibition, guests can tour a life-size burial from 26th-Dynasty Egypt. This represents a time when Egyptians explored their own past, reviving early traditions of art, architecture and tomb design.
Coffins from the 26th Dynasty era tended to have much more decoration, hearkening back to previous times. The hieroglyphs on this coffin were inspired by "The Book of the Dead," a series of texts believed to help a person traverse the underworld and find the afterlife.