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Museums have decided to rebrand ancient Egyptian human remains, because they claim the name "mummy" is offensive.
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The mummies are almost always the most popular exhibits in museums around the world and blockbuster movies have been made on the resonant oil.
Now a number of museums in the UK have changed the oil of the mummies to "embalmed remains" or "embalmed human" to give the dead human remains the respect they deserve.
In some museums, they even make sure to use the explicit name of the dead person to emphasize the fact that behind the preserved corpse stands a person who chose this way to preserve his remains.
"Using different words to describe these human remains may distance them from the conventional depiction of mummies in popular culture, which has tended to undermine their humanity through legends of the mummy curse and by portraying them as supernatural monsters," wrote Jo Anderson of the Great North Museum: Hancock in Newcastle, N.C. East Anglia,
An Egyptian mummy in the British Museum in London (Photo: ShutterStock)
Daniel Antoine, curator of the Department of Egypt and Sudan at the British Museum in London, told CNN: "We have human remains from around the world and we may change the terminology we use depending on the method in which they were preserved. We have natural mummies from pre-dynastic Egypt, so we will refer to them as mummies natural because they were not embalmed artificially."
He added: "The use of the term 'embalmed remains' can encourage visitors to think about the person who once lived."
Initial findings from the Museum of the North: The Hancock visitor study of the mummified Egyptian woman known as Irtiro found that many visitors "didn't know she was a real person," museum director Adam Goldwater told CNN.
By "presenting her more sensitively," Goldwater added, "we hope our visitors will see her remains for what they really are—not an object of curiosity,
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Museums vary in their approach to the word "mummy".
The British Museum told CNN in a statement that it "has not banned the use of the term 'mummy' and it is still used in all our galleries."
However, he added that "our recent displays have used the term 'embalmed remains of...' and included the name (when the name is known) of the person being embalmed, to emphasize that embalmed remains are people who once lived."
At the same time, a spokesperson for the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh told CNN that "the term 'mummy' is modern and not ancient", and that the museum uses it more as "an adjective for objects. The terms 'mummy mask', 'mummy coffin' and 'mummy bandage' They are all used on our labels."
He added: "Like many museums, important aspects of our collections and the way we present them have been shaped by imperial and colonial thinking and actions based on racialized and racist understandings of the world. In response, we are reflecting on how we represent an imperial and colonial past to our audiences. In our galleries we Changes are being made to displays and labels to deal with historical bias."