Mummies in Kentucky (2)
The Joseph A. Callaway Archaeological Museum
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Honeycutt Campus Center *Room 210
2825 Lexington Rd.
Louisville, KY 40280
Open Mon.-Fri. 8-4:30. Free
Sheryet-Mehyet: Southern Seminary’s Skeleton In The Closet By Ashlie Stevens
Sheryet-Mehyet on the Mummipedia Wiki
The Callaway Museum was rededicated at its present location on September 14, 1993 and contains objects from two earlier campus museums: 1. The Eisenberg Collection of Egyptian and Near Eastern Antiquities which contained artifacts from the Coptic period; 2. The Nicol Collection of Biblical Archaeology which contained an Egyptian mummy and a copy of the Rosetta Stone from the British Museum.
This mummy was a woman named Sheryet-Mehyet (affectionately called "Sheri"), an Egyptian priestess who lived about 700 B.C..
X-rays and enhanced CT scans by Dr. Bill Jackson of the Mid-South BMH Radiology Group displayed on the wall show that she was in her late 50s and died of natural causes. Sheri was purchased in Cairo in 1896 by Dr. T. T. Eaton and given to the Seminary in 1906 by Mrs. J. Lawrence Smith. Since coming to the Seminary, Sheri has been stored in closets, professors' offices and even in the cafeteria. Her face was unwrapped in 1961.
Louisville Science Center
727 West Main Street
Louisville, KY 40202
Monday - Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday & Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday from Noon to 5 p.m.
In the Louisville Science Center, just a baseball's throw from the largest Louisville Slugger in the world, rests the earthly remains of Then-hotep. Currently located on the third floor of the museum, Then-hotep's mummy is placed in the bottom half of her mummy case. The display case which holds her mummy and the bottom half of her coffin is a Plexiglass pyramid. Other Egyptian objects including the lid of her mummy case, scarabs, ushabtis and two mummified hawks make up the remainder of the collection.
Then-hotep has had quite an exciting and, at times, even harrowing post-mortem life. She was one of the "objects" selected by Professor G. C. C. Maspero to be exhibited in the Egyptian gallery at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair and was gazed upon by a million fair-goers. The World's Fair Egyptian exhibit was installed by no less a personage than J.E. Quibell (1867-1935) who is perhaps best-known as the discoverer of a tomb KV46 one year later in 1905. The tomb turned out to be that of Yuya and Thuya, the parents of Queen Tiye the great royal wife of Amen-hotep III. Quibell's wife, Annie nee Pirie, and a Mrs. Cox are also listed in the World's Fair records as having been members of the installation team.
At the close of the Fair, Then-hotep then moved to Kentucky, having been sold, probably to defray the cost of shipping some of the other objects back to Egypt, and donated to the old Louisville Museum at 4th and York streets. Up to this point, it is said, that her mummy was in excellent condition, her unwrapped face showing well-preserved skin and hair, and her mummy case still bearing brightly colored hieroglyphs.
On January 27th, 1937, however, Then-hotep was trapped by the rising waters of the Ohio river. During the course of the flood, she literally lost her head and floated around in the murky river water for 12 days. When she was recovered, the damage done to her mummy was extensive. Various unsuccessful attempts were made at drying her out to stop the spreading mildew. Finally, she was sealed in a vacuum tank for 24 hours until she was totally dry. It was at about this time that the only documented restoration to her mummy case was carried out. Under the direction of Colonel Lucien Beckner, a former curator of the museum, the hieroglyphs on the right side of the case were partially restored.
In May 1977, she was moved to the new Natural History and Science Museum.
About Then-hotep, herself, very little is known. The visitor to the Science Museum will be able to see her full body x-rays and learn that she lived about 3400 years ago.