The Secrets of the Field Museum Mummies Revealed

Last July, my husband organized a team of colleagues and interns to CT scan a number of the mummies in the Field Museum's permanent collection.  Seven months and hundreds of hours of segmenting the images later, the museum has put the mummies and a selection from the scans on display.  It opened yesterday to great media fanfare.  We went to see it today.

The south entrance to the museum.  That's my genius hubby on the right.  Note the banners: mummies and dinosaurs!

Ooh!  I can't wait to see them!

Hubby smiling!  Look at the crowds!

Not for sensitive bears

Alas, at this point, I had to stop taking pictures.  So if you want to see the scans (and the mummies), you'll have to go to the museum in person.  Oh, okay, here's a sneak peak.  Check out the curly hairdo on this lovely lady (she's the one on the posters, too).  Did I mention the hundreds (and hundreds) of hours that it took to segment these images?  You have no idea.  I'm not sure I really do, only that I haven't seen my husband not working on them for months.  Every single slice required segmenting.  And coloring.  And resegmenting and coloring when the hardware changed so that the exhibit could include an interactive display in which you "unwrap" the mummy.  I wish that I could show you more.  If only so as to get to brag yet again about how hard my husband worked to get the loan of the scanner, organize his colleagues to do the scans, render the scans so that they would reveal the secrets of the mummies, and help get the exhibit ready for its opening this week.  Just cleaning the cases for the display was a feat in itself.  So if you have a chance, go see the mummies.  And brag about how cool it is that you know who helped make them visible for you.

And just in case you want to take one home (mummy not included).


  1. Fencing Bear seems to be stalking JP.


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