Monday, November 16, 2009

Very Postmortem: Mummies and Medicine

Following the Tut exhibit, we then headed up to the Legion of Honor to see their related exhibit "Very Postmortem: Mummies and Medicine." The exhibit contains the coffin and remains of a mummy- a priest named Irethorrou- who is owned by the museum. The mummy was recently CT scanned at Stanford University and the exhibit shows video going inside the mummy, as well as still shots showing where various amulets were found throughout the wrappings. It was neat to be able to "look inside" of the mummy, as well as see what he looked like from the outside. One interesting thing we learned from the exhibit is that Irethorrou was only middle aged when he died but he had extreme wear on all of his teeth due to the SAND particles that were always present in their bread. I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like to bite into a "soft" piece of bread and encounter grit. The exhibit is fairly small- it took us about 30 minutes to thoroughly read all of the panels and watch the scan. You get into this exhibit for free if you go the same day as you visit Tut. It was a good companion to Tut but if you can only go to one, Tut is the definite must.

We also saw another exhibit at the Legion that we both DO NOT recommend. It featured the work of John Baldessari, a contemporary artist who is kind of a variant of pop art by Andy Warhol, but not nearly as good. He liked to place round circles over faces- which I guess is his trademark. Neither of us really cared for the work and so we had a very quick walk through of his work.

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