COSI’s Lost Egypt Exhibition

A Send-Off from Lost Egypt Exhibit Producer, Kate Storm by Carli

It’s been an amazing summer with “Lost Egypt” at COSI. There were several particularly memorable experiences for me.

  1. After years of looking at a small table-top paper scale model of the exhibit, it was incredible to walk into the gallery for the first time and see the real exhibits and murals and walls. Seeing the large scale murals of Egypt, as well as Brad Feinknopf’s photos in the hallway, reminded me of our trip to Egypt.
  2. Watching visitors at our member event with archaeologists Dr. Mark Lehner and Ana Tavares from Ancient Egypt Research Associates, and Dr. Jonathan Elias from the Akhmim Mummy Studies Consortium, was so great. I got to introduce two girls who want to become archaeologists to Ana as they walked through the exhibit!
  3. I saw hundreds of people climb on the camel, build a pyramid, search out the archaeological clues from the Lost City site, move a pyramid block, discover artifacts, watch a show about the afterlife, come face to face with a mummy, explore tomb art, and study the forensic science behind mummies. I really hope we managed to capture some of the excitement and sense of wonder that is the science of archaeology, and share it with our visitors.
  4. We performed formal evaluations, received written comments, and overheard lots of conversations about “Lost Egypt”. We really value all the comments from visitors and colleagues – everything that was said about what you liked and didn’t like, what you found compelling, beautiful, or boring, is so useful in planning our future exhibits. Thank you to everyone who participated.

Now we’re preparing to close “Lost Egypt”. I feel a bit like I’m sending my kid off on her first day of school. “Lost Egypt”is heading out into the world to tour the U.S. for the next several years. It was the most wonderful, exhausting, amazing and challenging work project I’ve ever had. I’m so grateful for the help of Josh, Carli, Jenn and all the others at COSI who helped turn the idea into reality. And the Science Museum of Minnesota team who brought it to life was incredible – I miss working with all of you, and hope we can head off to Jordan or Greece or Mexico for the next adventure some day soon! It’s been a privilege to work on Lost Egypt, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.

An interview from the top of the world.

An interview from the top of the world.


Rapid Prototyping a Mummy by COSI

Author: Kate

Mummy Rapid Prototype Front

Here are the photos of the first life-sized rapid prototype of a mummy!!! If you’ve never seen a rapid prototype, they’re very cool. It starts with CAD or other digital data, which is sent to a 3D printer. In our case, we are using a CT scan that was taken of the mummy that will be on display in the Lost Egypt exhibition. The printer works like your home or office printer, but with bondable powder in place of paper, and adhesive in place of ink. The printer spreads out a layer of powder on the forward swing and sprays glue on the reverse swing. The bonding adhesive (a material resembling super glue) is sprayed out according to the information in an individual scan layer. This is repeated layer by layer until the entire object is produced in full volume (a model of a human skull can take several hours). This project was led by Dr. Jonathan Elias, Director of the Akhmim Mummy Studies Consortium, and Dr. Robert Hoppa, University of Manitoba. The printer was manufactured by Z Corporation.

Mummy Rapid Prototype SideThis is the first of three prints we’re making for Lost Egypt. This is a totally new way to see a mummy, allowing us to show a three-dimensional view of a mummy unwrapped. Until this time, the only options to see inside a mummy would be through CT scans, which are 2D images representing 3D data, or to actually unwrap a mummy, destroying it in the process. In the next two sculptures, we’ll go underneath the bandages to reveal the mummy, first with skin, and then at a more skeletal level. We think this will provide a fascinating new view of scientific data.