16.9.2016 – 30.4.2017

Mummies Mysteries of time

Legacies from ages long past let us decipher the mystery of where we come from. Mummies are such heirs. As individual witnesses of our history, they are invaluable from a cultural-historical point of view. In this special exhibition we showed human mummies with touching, extraordinary stories that they contain. The exhibition was also enriched by sensational animal mummies.

The mummy exhibition in Basel explored the question of why dead bodies are preserved. Which processes cause a body or parts of it to outlast time and not decay? What conditions are needed to keep skin, hair or soft tissues undamaged for centuries after the death of a human or animal body? The exhibition focused on the processes that make this possible. At the same time, the show provided the atmosphere and space to reflect on the social and personal handling of life and death.

The special exhibition was created thanks to the partnership with the Reiss Engelhorn Museums in Mannheim.


Anatomisches Museum, Basel / Antikenmuseum und Sammlung Ludwig, Basel / Archäologische Bodenforschung des Kantons Basel-Stadt / Berufsgenossenschaftliche Unfallklinik Murnau / Bündner Naturmuseum / Bürgerforschungsprojekt Basel-Spitalfriedhof (IPNA) / Department of Biomedical Engineering der Universität Basel / Drents Museum Assen / EURAC, Institut for mummies and the iceman / Historisches Museum Basel / Hungarian Natural History Museum / Institut für Rechtsmedizin, Basel / Museum der Kulturen, Basel / Naturforschende Gesellschaft in Basel / Naturkundemuseum im Ottoneum / Naturmuseum Wallis / Pharmazie-Historisches Museum der Universität Basel / Roemer- und Pelizaeus-Museum Hildesheim / Staatsarchiv des Kantons Basel-Stadt / Stadtmuseum Hornmoldhaus / Südtiroler Archäologiemuseum / Swiss Mummy Project UZH