Mummies are preserved remains of humans and other animals, some lasting for thousands of years. They are the actual flesh and bones, and are sometimes accompanied by wrappings and precious objects. Many ancient cultures created mummies, but the practice is oldest and most widespread in Egypt and South America, especially Peru. Scientists study mummies to learn about the people and cultures from long ago.

Image credits: main image, Liz Lawley/CC BY-SA 2.0; story, © Vasenka Photography/CC BY-SA 2.0; quote, David Hurst Thomas © AMNH.