Mummy unwrapping ceremonies used to occur fairly regularly. For Victorians and 1950s German academics, it was actually a form of entertainment. Held in lecture halls and universities, mummy unwrapping parties became morbid high brow academic ceremonies fusing the latest archaeological discoveries of the time with the public’s own twisted love of the dead and grotesque.
Imagine getting an invite like this:
Perhaps our constant inundation with gore and carnage has anesthetized us to the sublime darkness of mummified cadavers. It’s a far cry from the days when owning a mummy was a sign of prestige and high culture. But we’re here to remind you: ritually decorated and preserved corpses are indeed WORKS OF ART. So act like it!
The mummies of Venzone
Mummification is caused by a bacterium, the Hypha Tombicina, which rapidly dehydrates the bodies, thus stopping their decomposition.
More on Mummies
Below is a mummy found in 1903, in a gravel pit at 56th Street and South Park Avenue, Chicago IL, wrapped in a piece of carpet and placed within a long box.
Mummy found in glacier!
The Weerdinge Men
The mummified remains below were uncovered by a farmer in 1904 in a peat bog in the Netherlands. They are from between 160 BC and 220 AD. One man was eviscerated; there is a hole in the chest through which the intestines were pulled out.
The Self-Mummified Monks of Japan
A few extreme monks in Japan spent years preparing their bodies for self-mummification. Read about this incredible grisly ritual of the Sokushinbutsu monks. Only about 16-24 monks were able to pull this off. Many others died in the process.
Oh, and here’s one more mummy unwrapping invite for the road: