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Genghis Khan ( listen)
February 24–September 3

English: Genghis Khan statue in front of the G...

Image via Wikipedia

Whether you are a war buff, history buff, or just one who likes to learn new things the Genghis Khan exhibition at the Field Museum is a fascinating tour of the world’s largest contiguous empire in history.

After being abandoned by his tribe at a young age Khan rose to power and united many  nomadic tribes of northeast Asia, in time forming the Mongol Empire. The exhibition is structured in a time-line format from Khan’s early childhood through his death, at which time the empire was divided among his sons.

The Mongol Empire brought to the world numerous, surprising innovations, most of which are still in use today. Some of these include; pants, ground meat, glasses, the pony express, passports, paper money, and diplomatic immunity.

Opening the Vaults: Mummies
February 17–April 22

Growing up in Chicago it seemed that we always had an annual field trip to the Field Museum to visit the extraordinary permanent exhibition, Inside Ancient Egypt. As many know, this exhibit strikes the imagination of children as they explore pyramids, ancient life, and, of course, mummies.

The special exhibition, Opening the Vaults, takes the exploration of mummies to a whole new level. With over twenty specimen on display the room demonstrates a fantastic balance of new and old. Most of the mummies have not been displayed since the World’s Columbian Exhibition.

The museum refurbished vintage cases for the bodies and placed all the labels either on the walls, illustrated with CT scans, or along the top of the case. This left visitors with an unobstructed view of the objects and the choice to read all of the text, some of the text, or just appreciate the aesthetic of the ancient burial methods.

For me, the CT scans were the most intriguing part of the exhibit. Although, even the museum staff was pleased with how much attention and appreciation the vintage cases received from all of the visitors.

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