I Can’t Decide If This is Cool or Creepy

Have you heard about the 500-year-old mummy of an Incan girl that went on display in an Argentine museum last week? She’s a perfectly preserved mummy of a 15-year-old girl who was taken up to the edge of the Llullaillaco volcano and left to die as part of a sacrifice to the corn harvest. Discovered in the Andes in 1999 (along with the bodies of two other children), the ice preserved her in such a state that she looks like she’s merely sleeping. In a glass display cabinet. In the middle of a museum, 500 years after she died.

Check out the pictures. It’s amazing. To think that you can step right up and literally stare history in the face is awe inspiring. The history buff in me is fascinated. But it’s also a bit disturbing. Obviously there’s a lot science can learn from such a find, but as a tourist attraction, viewing an Egyptian skeleton is a lot different than looking at flesh and blood. Then again, how is it any different from folks parading past the body of a deceased dignitary? Or the embalmed corpse of say, Eva Peron? No, wait, that was creepy.

I don’t know. What do you think?

5 thoughts on “I Can’t Decide If This is Cool or Creepy

  1. I have very mixed feelings about all of these kinds of exhibits. I think they pander to the worst in us. I agree with the statement in the article that the scientists could have taken samples for research and left the bodies where they were buried.
    The “Bodies” exhibit is coming here next month. I resisted going to see it in New York and I may well resist seeing it here. Maybe I’m just being squeamish, but I don’t know.

  2. Promise you won’t do that to me–I don’t look that good anymore!
    Seriously, I think this may be fine for scientific research, but there is something goulish about seeing her on display–there are others I’d rather see dead, actually.
    Makes me wonder what else is going to be revealed with global warming.

  3. Do we draw the line at human beings? How do people feel about stuffed animals on display? I saw a photo depicting the opening of a big sporting goods store, and the store had a display of stuffed wildcats among other things. This seems all wrong to me, too.

  4. My 6-year-old great niece saw the stuffed polar bear at the Peggy Notebart Museum this weekend and kept asking us if it was ‘real’. Which turned out to mean ‘is it alive?’ I can’t imagine explaining to her that the teenage girl in front of her is both real and dead.

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