Drying wet mummy

San Diego Natural History Museum Library libsdnhm at CLASS.ORG
Wed Aug 23 08:23:57 CDT 1995

The flood that you mentioned occurred not at the University of Texas, but
at Texas A&M University in 1992. People who have presented discussions of
this and its aftermath include George Baumgardner and Kathryn Vaughn at
TAMU, Cathy Hawks, Steve Williams, and me, mainly at SPNHC and ASM meetings.

But a mummy is a very different issue and there are probably few people on
TAXACOM with the expertise you need. You might consider posting to the
Conservation Dist List or to MUSEUM-L. The Getty Conservation Institute
has worked on the problem of microenvironments for human remains and
could also help you very much. In the eyes of conservation and the law,
human remains, even in a historic context, have to be approached
differently from other natural history specimens.

Sally Shelton
Director, Collections Care and Conservation

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|                 San Diego Natural History Museum                      |
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On Tue, 22 Aug 1995, Paulo Andreas Buckup wrote:

> Fellow Taxacomers,
>      This is not a systematics discussion, but a request for help on how
> to dry an Egyptian mummy.  Since most of you have experience with
> preserved collections or know museum specialists in your institutions, I
> direct this request to you.
>      At the National Museum in Brazil one of the galeries suffered a flood
> due to restoration work being carried out at the roof.  As a result an
> adult human male Egyptian mummy of about 3000 years became wet.  We would
> appreciate any help on how to dry the specimen with minimal damage.  The
> mummy is from the Intermediary (or Late) Period and probably belongs to a
> sarcophagus which has been dated from the 21st dinasty.
>      Any help will be appreciated, specially from those of you with
> contacts in the British Museum, the Smithsonian, or perhaps even the Cairo
> Museum.  Was Elaine Hoagland (from ASC) who once presented a talk on
> collection care, which included information on several floods suffered
> by North American Museums (e.g. the U.of Texas big Museum flood which affected
> their mammal collection)?  Anybody with first hand experience in this kind of
> problem?
> Paulo A. Buckup
> Dept. de Vertebrados
> Museu Nacional
> Quinta da Boa Vista
> 20940-040 Rio de Janeiro, RJ
> e-mail: buckup at omega.lncc.br

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