The mummy congress : science, obsession, and the everlasting dead

by Heather Anne Pringle

Hardcover, 2001




New York : Hyperion, c2001.


Unravels the mysteries of mummies by following the women & men who devote their lives to studying them. The World Congress on Mummy Studies brings together mummy experts from all over the world & airs their latest findings. Who are these scientists & what draws them to this morbid yet captivating field? Takes you on a journey over five continents & across nearly 7,000 years to show what mummies & the people who study them can tell us about ourselves, our fears of mortality & our dreams of eternal life, the lives of our ancestors & about the possibilities for future generations

Media reviews

All the stories sparkle. Pringle is a crack-shot storyteller. She chooses the level of detail precisely, so that we see the virtual reality but do not lose the plot. . . So why doesn't ''The Mummy Congress'' get anywhere? All those lovely stories are only a list, in no particular order, unrelated except for their shared subject; they don't add up to any larger story.

User reviews

LibraryThing member pussreboots
I really enjoyed this book and learned a few things too. The text is easy to understand for someone outside the fields of study covered in this book. I like how each chapter is focused on one topic rather then trying to write a chronological piece. Being able to focus on parasites for an entire chapter made reading much easier than having to keep track of a bunch of names and dates.… (more)
LibraryThing member Crowyhead
After Heather Pringle attended the Mummy Congress, an academic convention for the archaeologists and others who specialize in the study of mummified humans, she was so fascinated that she sought out experts in the field to help satisfy her curiosity about mummies. Along the way, she also reflects on why we are so fascinated by mummies, and what that fascination has historically meant for the treatment of mummified humans. This is a really interesting book, since it reveals the scope of mummy research -- mummies aren't just in Egypt, they have been found all over the globe. Sometimes I was frustrated because I really wanted to spend more time on the individual cases, but since it's sort of an overview of the field it's not possible to cover everything there is to know about the various archaeological sites. I recommend this if you have an interest in archaeology and share my fascination with eerily well-preserved human remains.… (more)
LibraryThing member JBD1
An absolutely fascinating account of all things mummy, from the debate over dissecting them to see what medical use they can be to the methods by which they were preserved, the various uses to which they have been put over the centuries, and more. It's also a very good profile of the scientists and historians who have devoted their lives to the study of these preserved humans.… (more)
LibraryThing member IntrinsiclyMe
Really fascinating book. I've always thought of mummies as the linen-wrapped folks from Egypt. They're really any person that is preserved by human means or by natural means.

She details where mummies have been found, how they were preserved and their culture. She also describes the researchers who study mummies and what studies are done.

Very cool book
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