Professor Shows Off Mummies at Science Center

Sep 19, 2019

Cal U's Dr. Cassandra Kuba, an expert in anthropology, will answer questions on Oct. 5 when the Carnegie Science Center opens 'Mummies of the World: An Exhibition.'


“There may be a mummy in your house,” says Dr. Cassandra Kuba, professor of anthropology at California University of Pennsylvania.

Want proof? She’ll show you the mummified mouse she found in her basement, preserved after its death by the dry, hot air circulating near her furnace.

Kuba will share her expertise and artifacts Oct. 5 during the opening weekend festivities for Mummies of the World: The Exhibition at the Carnegie Science Center’s PPG SCIENCE PAVILION™ in Pittsburgh.

Mummies of the World features 40 real human and animal mummies and 85 related artifacts. Just outside the exhibition, visitors will have the opportunity to meet Kuba and explore her collection of mummies.

Although she’s an expert in biological anthropology and the study of the human skeleton, Kuba’s display features a variety of mummified animals, including that unfortunate mouse and a chicken her Cal U students have named “Reggie.” All died naturally before their bodies were preserved.

A frequent consultant on forensic and archaeological cases, Kuba relishes the chance to talk about anthropology with the public, and especially with children. She’s invited a few current and former students to join her at the display table.

“I’m looking forward to the one-on-one interactions with the public to explain the mummification process that occurs in animals and answer any questions they may have,” Kuba says. “This is a wonderful opportunity for Cal U to have our students and alumni from the anthropology program share their knowledge, too.”

More than 2 million people have seen Mummies of the World during its global tour, Carnegie Science Center reports. The exhibition area is dimly lit, hushed, respectful of the human and animal mummies whose presence teaches about science, history and culture.

Outside the climate-controlled gallery, the atmosphere is lighter. Kuba’s specimens are encased in clear containers, and kids are encouraged to pick them up, take a close look and ask questions.

“We think Reggie will certainly appeal to children’s natural curiosity,” Kuba says.

She will attend the media preview for Mummies of the World on Oct. 2 and the exhibition’s opening day, Oct. 5. She hopes Carnegie Science Center will offer her additional dates before the exhibition closes this spring.

‘Mummies of the World: The Exhibition’ is on display from Oct. 5, 2019, to April 19, 2020, at Carnegie Science Center’s PPG Science Pavilion, on Pittsburgh’s North Shore. Tickets are on sale now. For details, photos, hours, ticket prices and more, visit