Mummies in Arkansas (0)
There once were mummies in Arkansas, but no longer. They were part of the efforts of Bernie Babcock, a.k.a. Julia Burnelle Smade, a delightful eccentric, to found a Natural History Museum in Little Rock in response the H.L. Mencken's disparaging remarks about the state. You can read Bernie's fascinating story in:
“Bernie Babcock: She Slept in the Basement.” Unvarnished Arkansas: The Naked Truth about Nine Famous Arkansans, by Steven Teske: Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, Little Rock, Arkansas, 2012, pp. 117–134.
C-Span Video Link
It appears that there were multiple mummies in the museum she founded in 1927. This museum was really a sort of "cabinet of curiosities" on Main Street. Eventually the museum moved to MacArthur Park and was housed in the Arsenal Building. By this point there was one mummy which was ultimately returned to Pennsylvania at the request of its owner.
By the time Bernie's Natural History museum had become the Museum of Discovery in 1973, the mummy had been replaced with a green-faced Theban coffin ca. 600 B.C.E. loaned by a south-west state resident. It was said that the coffin belonged to a man named Pasheshes (a little more about this later). In 2011 Marci Robertson, an employee of the museum wrote a very informative blog post on the mummy case which contains two pictures.
The museum underwent a $7.5 million renovation and reopened in 2012 without Pasheshes.
Ultimately the coffin's owner gifted the case to the Institute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology (IEAA) in Memphis Tennessee. The Gallery is currently closed for improvements as of this writing (February 2018).
The official unveiling of the coffin at the IEAA took place in October. The coffin turned out not to belong to Pasheshes, but was actually the anthropoid coffin of a wab priest named Pa-di-Atum (ca. 712 – 332 BCE).