Weird Science: Unwrapping a Mummy
Encased in temperature-controlled glass cabinets, mummies are often a star attraction at some of the world’s greatest museums. For centuries, mummies were viewed as nothing more than money-making commodities. Thankfully, attitudes have drastically shifted.
But what exactly is a mummy?
The word ‘mummy’ refers to the dead body of a human being or that of an animal whose soft tissues and organs have been preserved by either intentional means or by accidental exposure to extreme conditions. Practiced throughout most of early Egyptian history, mummification refers to the specific methods used by the Egyptians to remove all moisture from the body, leaving only a dried form that would not easily rot or decay. You may have viewed a mummy on display …
Standing proudly on the banks of the Nile River since 1899, you’ll find one of the world’s most luxurious and legendary hotels, The Old Cataract in Aswan, Egypt.
Built by Thomas Cook in 1899, this historic, British colonial-era resort has hosted celebrities and dignitaries since it opened its doors. People like Tsar Nicholas II, Sir Winston Churchill, Howard Carter, Margaret Thatcher, Princess Diana, Queen Noor and, most famously, Dame Agatha Christie.
As my felucca approached the storied hotel, a wave of excitement washed over me. I was about to retrace the footsteps of Agatha Christie! Eagerly reading her books since childhood, I’ve been a fan for as long as I can remember. We even share a birthdate: September 15.