British Museums Will Avoid Using ‘Mummy’ to Describe Mummified Remains

Mummified remains in the British Museum, London. Photo: John Harper (Getty Images). Source:

The British Museum in London has said it will stop using the term “mummy” to describe exhibits from ancient Egypt. What caused this – read our material.

A spokesman for the British Museum in London said that they, as well as the National Museums of Scotland and the Museum of the Great North: Hancock, have decided to stop using the term “mummy” to describe Egyptian artifacts that are in abundance in the United Kingdom.

The statement says that the word “mummy” is not a misnomer, but it is dehumanizing, while the use of the term “mummified person” encourages our visitors to think of this person.

Instead of this term, the terms “mummified remains” or “mummified person” will now be used. It’s all about the meaning of the word. Museum scientists said the “mummy” dehumanizes what are still human remains. This complicates the perception of the exhibit as once alive.

Moreover, according to the British Museum, which specializes in Egyptology, the description of most mummies does not indicate the name of the mummified person. These sudden changes are caused by the UK’s attempt to cleanse itself of the colonial past, as well as to correct examples of the horrific treatment of ancient artifacts.

In 2021, Great North Museum curator: Hancock Joe Anderson shared an internal investigation into several cases of serious violations.

Referring to the concept of “Egyptomania”, the man spoke of private “unwrapping parties” of mummified people held for the elite.

The most famous incident is the defacement of the mummified remains of the ancient woman Irtyru. By special order and for a lot of money, the bandages were removed and returned back several times, and in order to avoid damage, shellac was applied to it. A large bolt and ring were bolted to the skull so that the skeleton could be hung vertically. All this not only speaks of the negligence of museum staff but also defiles ancient rituals.

Some institutions are in no hurry to accept innovations. So, the British Museum has not yet abandoned the term “mummy”, but already uses the designation “mummified remains” at exhibitions, and if the name of the mummified person is known, then it is included in the description.

Nevertheless, some representatives of the institutions called this decision strange, joking that “the mummy’s curse is driving these scientists crazy”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here