Home World News Why museums in UK are rebranding the word for ancient Egyptian remains

Why museums in UK are rebranding the word for ancient Egyptian remains

Why museums in UK are rebranding the word for ancient Egyptian remains


UK museums don’t want you to say ‘mummy’. Some museums in Britain are rebranding the word that describes the ancient Egyptian human remains.

As per CNN, these museums have altered their utilization to “mummified person”, “mummified remains” or the particular person’s title to emphasize on the incontrovertible fact that they had been as soon as residing people.

What is the origin of ‘mummy’ and why some UK museums are in opposition to it? We clarify.

Origin of the word ‘mummy’

The word ‘mummy’ comes from the Arabic word mummiya, that means ‘tar’ or ‘bitumen’, as per the Australian Museum web site.

While the Egyptians typically used tar to protect the our bodies, most mummies had been coated in darkish resins, which made the pores and skin black, the web site added.

No mummy Why museums in UK are rebranding the word for ancient Egyptian remains

The word ‘mummy’ comes from the Arabic word mummiya. Wikimedia Commons

“The Egyptians referred to dead bodies as khat and used the word sah for bodies that had undergone the rites of mummification,” notes Australian Museum.

Why UK museums are opposing the word

The museums consider the word ‘mummy’ is “dehumanising” to the lifeless ancient Egyptians.

London’s British Museum stated it prefers the phrase “mummified remains” because it tells the guests that they are taking a look at individuals who as soon as lived, as per Daily Mail.

The museum additionally confirmed to CNN that it has not “banned the use of the term ‘mummy’ and it is still in use across our galleries”.

Daniel Antoine, keeper of the division for Egypt and Sudan at the British Museum, advised CNN, “We have human remains from around the world, and we may vary the terminology we use depending on … how they’ve been preserved. We have natural mummies from pre-dynastic Egypt, so we’ll refer to them as natural mummies because they haven’t been artificially mummified”.

National Museums Scotland in Edinburgh has additionally dropped the word ‘mummy’ from its labels of the Egyptian remains.

“Where we know the name of an individual we use that, otherwise we use “mummified man, woman, boy, girl or person” as a result of we are referring to folks, not objects,” a spokesperson of the museum advised Daily Mail.

“The word “mummy” is just not incorrect, however it’s dehumanising, whereas utilizing the time period “mummified person” encourages our guests to think about the particular person.”

Great North Museum: Hancock in Newcastle has stated it has revised its time period for the show of mummified Egyptian lady Irtyru to exhibit her “more sensitively”.

No mummy Why museums in UK are rebranding the word for ancient Egyptian remains

The museums in the UK consider the word ‘mummy’ is ‘dehumanising’. Wikimedia Commons File Photo

Jo Anderson, assistant keeper of archaeology at the Great North Museum: Hancock, wrote in a weblog publish in 2021 that listening to “legends about the mummy’s curse” and portraying them as “supernatural monsters” in the well-liked tradition “undermine their humanity”.

Great North Museum: Hancock supervisor, Adam Goldwater, advised CNN in a press release that they hope “visitors will see her (Irtyru) remains for what they really are — not an object of curiosity, but a real human who was once alive and had a very specific belief about how her body should be treated after death.”

A spokesperson for the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh claimed the “term ‘mummy’ is modern, rather than ancient,” CNN reported.

The spokesperson stated they are adjusting their reveals in order to “address historical bias”.

“Like many museums, important aspects of our collections and the way that we display them have been shaped by imperial and colonial thinking and actions that were based on racial and racist understandings of the world,” the spokesperson advised CNN.

“In response, we are reflecting on how we represent imperial and colonial pasts to our audiences. In our galleries, we are making changes to displays and labels to address historical bias.”

Backlash over the step

Not everyone seems to be a fan of the new phrases, with one critic likening the step by the museums to advantage signalling.

The Conversation explains that advantage signalling is an “expression used to call out an individual, company, or organisation – suggesting they are only backing an idea to look good in the eyes of others”.

Jeremy Black, creator of Imperial Legacies: The British Empire Around The World, advised Daily Mail, “When museums minimize themselves off from well-liked tradition they present contempt for how all of us perceive phrases, meanings and historical past.

“It would be better to focus on helping create a setting that encourages all to visit them rather than in pandering to a virtue signalling minority”, Black added.

David Abulafia, professor emeritus of Mediterranean historical past at Cambridge University, referred to as the transfer “strange”.

Taking a dig, Chris McGovern, the chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, advised Daily Mail, “The curse of the mummy is driving these academics mad!”

With inputs from businesses

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