Max Uhle

Under construction

Erickson, Clark L.

2010 Max Uhle en Filadelfia (1897-1899). In Max Uhle (1856-1944): evaluaciones de sus investigaciones y obras, edited by Peter Kaulicke, Manuela Fischer, Peter Masson y Gregor Wolff, Pp. 93-108. Pontíficia Universidad Católica del Perú, Lima (PUCP) and Fritz Thyssen Stiftung für Wissenschatfsförderung, Berlin.

  • Jules

    When you work on human remains, do you think or wonder about the life of the person on whom you are working, or are your thought confined to aspects of conservation?

    • Lynn

      Personally, I often find myself musing about the person who made or used an artifact, especially when I find some trace of them, like a fingerprint. With human remains, oddly, I don’t find any more of a connection with the person, perhaps because they’re so clearly gone (or maybe it’s because I have a tendency to ‘personalize’ all the artifacts that I work on, referring to them as ‘my babies’ for instance). I tend to think more about the ones they left behind, who took such care to ensure a good afterlife for their loved one. For instance, the little girl mummy with the gold bangles on her wrist – very affecting.

  • David D.

    What material/s does the museum use to pack a mummy in for transport when loaning out a mummy to another museum for exhibition?

    • mgleeson

      hi David-thanks for your question! It depends on the mummy – for human mummies, it can be more
      complicated because they are large, fragile, and sometimes fairly heavy. A rigid
      board is essential to support the mummy, and it should be made
      of a stable, inert material – an aluminum honeycomb panel would be ideal
      because it is very lightweight and rigid. The board must be covered with
      padding to absorb shock and provide cushioning for the mummy – Ethafoam (a
      polyethylene foam), is one option, or polyester batting covered with Tyvek (a
      polyethylene “fabric”) or unbleached, undyed muslin would also work. To prevent
      the mummy from moving on the board, bumpers can be constructed using similar
      stable, inert materials. The mummy on its support board can then be placed
      inside a protective box and finally inside a wooden crate, also lined with foam
      to help absorb shock and vibration.

      Animal mummies are a bit easier because while they can also be quite fragile, they are small and
      lightweight. Support boards and boxes can be constructed using acid-free
      cardboard, Ethafoam and Tyvek.

      Of course there are a wide variety of materials that are available and appropriate to use for packing and crating, and material choice is often determined by budget, needs of the object, and the preferences of the person constructing the supports.

      Then there is the business of actually getting the crated objects back and forth to their destinations. To learn more about this, see Lynn Grant’s post on the Penn Museum blog: http://www.penn.museum/blog/museum/the-glamorous-job-of-a-museum-courier/