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The University of Chicago


To: The esteemed overseer of the Oriental Institute, in whom the sun rises and sets, the Director William M. Sumner

From: The Mummy

Re: Various Matters

First of all, please understand that I am grateful to be a full-time resident of the Oriental Institute Museum. It is, after all, one of the world's most prestigious ancient Near Eastern Museums and it does "cause my name to live forever (though dreadfully mispronounced and not in the manner I had originally intended).

BUT- Your midwestern climate is really dreadful! In summer it is like a papyrus swamp at noon (fit only for crocodiles) and there is some danger that I may develop mold. In winter the humidity drops so low that my skin dries out and I itch; this is extremely annoying since, being a mummy and all wrapped up, I have not been able to scratch for a long time.

Seriously, we mummies need a cool stable environment, and if we do not have it we begin to deteriorate. Now mind you, I am not complaining; a mummy could be in a much worse place than the Oriental Institute Museum. In earlier days some of my colleagues were even ground up for medicine (pulvex mummia) or used to stoke the boilers of steam engines - exceedingly disrespectful! And let's face it, after 2000 years the tomb was getting a bit dull. Under the right conditions I should last for many centuries more, but this requires a more stable environment, "climate control", I think you call it. And if I do not see some progress along this line, well, you understand that it has been a long time, but I think I could still remember a curse or two!

Learn how the Institute will avoid the mummy's curse!!!

Revised: January 29, 1997
Copyright 2006 Oriental Institute, University of Chicago