Sunday, November 02, 2008

More re Philadelphia mummy restoration

Lost Egypt

More re the restoration of the Philadelphia mummy. Lots of photographs accompany this post.

The mummy was removed from its case on Friday, October 24, a rare treat for that day’s visitors. Second graders from the Broad Street School in Bridgeton, N.J. were amazed and had so many questions.

All of the Academy’s visitors, now through November 1, can experience this once in a lifetime opportunity and get within feet of one of the Academy’s treasures. The conservators are hard at work but eager to answer questions from visitors who wander over to the work area.

Akhmim mummy expert Jonathan Elias has a slide show running throughout the day featuring photos of a CAT Scan performed on the mummy several years ago at the University of Pennsylvania. The images allow the viewer to see beyond the wrappings and almost into the eyes of the young girl. It’s quite a sight, especially since we are so close to Halloween.

Today, October 27, the group is focusing on the repair and stabilization of the sarcophagus. They are filling in gaps and losses that have occurred over time with various materials including a polyester, open-cell foam, pieces of balsa wood and a pasty, caulk-like material called glass micro balloons, which is a lightweight, inert, cellular filler. All of the materials that are being used for this project are removable, reversible and are causing no damage to the mummy or sarcophagus.

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