No Joke: Mummies Arrive in Los Angeles Under Heavy Security

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LOS ANGELES -- The largest collection of mummies ever assembled will travel nearly 6,000 miles to make its highly anticipated arrival in Los Angeles on Friday, May 28. The mummies are traveling to the United States for the first time as part of the Mummies of the World exhibition, set to make its world debut at the California Science Center on July 1.

American Exhibitions, Inc. (AEI), will bring the priceless, carefully guarded mummies and related artifacts on an 11-hour journey from Germany and land at Los Angeles International Airport, where a security-detailed motorcade will escort the treasured mummies along a 13.5-mile route to the California Science Center.

There, security will unload its precious cargo, and experts will spend the month of June unpacking and preparing Mummies of the World for its opening. This must-see exhibition premieres on July 1, launching a limited engagement at the California Science Center and a three-year, seven-city tour around the country.

"Inside every mummy is a story waiting to be told," says James Delay, vice president of American Exhibitions, Inc., who is traveling with the mummies as they make their journey to the U.S.  "Using state-of-the-art scientific research, the secrets of the mummies are now revealed."

Mummies of the World is a highly distinguished project that has been years in the making for AEI, working with 15 world-renowned museums in seven countries to bring to the U.S. a never-before-seen collection of mummies and related artifacts fromSouth AmericaEuropeAsia, Oceania, and Egypt. Its treasures include one of the oldest mummy infants ever discovered; a mummified family; a German nobleman discovered by his own descendants; and intentionally preserved Egyptian animal mummies.

  • The Detmold Child is a remarkably preserved Peruvian child mummy, radiocarbon dated to 4504–4457 B.C. – more than 3,000 years before the birth of King Tut.
  • The Orlovits family – Michael, Veronica and their son Johannes – was part of a group of 18th-century mummies found in a long-forgotten church crypt in Vac, Hungary in 1994.
  • Baron von Holz is a 17th-century nobleman believed to have died in Sommersdorf, Germany during the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648), who was discovered in the crypt of his family's 14th-century castle still wearing his boots.
  • Egyptian cat mummies, elaborately wrapped in painted linen bandaging, date to the Ptolemaic period, and show how Egyptian cats were intentionally preserved to accompany their royals into the afterlife.  

This important exhibition dispels the notions and misconceptions about mummies and uses science tools to reach across time, demonstrating how scientific methods can illuminate the history of people and enhance our knowledge about cultures around the world. It also shows that mummification – both through natural processes and intentional practices – has taken place all over the globe, from the hot desert sands of South America to remote European moors and bogs.