COSI’s Lost Egypt Exhibition


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.



Mummy Restoration by COSI

Author: Katie, The Academy of Natural Sciences

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.

Broad Street School Kids

Broad Street School Kids

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.

Visitors View

Visitor's View

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 Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia. 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.

Mummy CAT Scan

Mummy CAT Scan

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.

Sara works on the Sarcophagus

Sara works on the Sarcophagus

“Because the mummy is going to be on the road for so long, I’m doing more stabilization than I normally would because I want it to come back [to the Academy) completely unharmed,” said the Peabody Essex Museum’s Mimi Leveque, lead conservator on the mummy.

Mimi works on the Sarcophagus

Mimi works on the Sarcophagus