Egyptian mummy rests in Oklahoma museum

Thursday, May 1st 2008, 7:11 pm
By: News 9

By Christian Price, INsite Team

An Egyptian mummy is spending its eternal life at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art in Shawnee.

The mummy is part of a permanent exhibit on the campus of St. Gregory's University.

Father Gregory Gerrer was a Benedictine monk who founded the Mabee-Gerrer Museum in 1914. The museum is considered one of the oldest in the state of Oklahoma. The Curator of Collections, Delaynna Trim, said Father Gerrer wanted to bring culture to the state.

"He wanted to bring the world to Oklahoma, which is this brand new state, this fledgling state," Trim said. "He brought everything. He would collect wood samples all the way to fine art."

In one of his collections, Father Gerrer brought to Oklahoma a piece that not many museums have.

"It's Oklahoma's only Egyptian mummy," Trim said. "We've actually had an Egyptologist come and read her hieroglyphics, and so now we know her name is Tu Tu. She was a very high status woman. We can tell that by how well she was preserved, how well she was mummified."

Other information about Tu Tu was learned when the mummy was X-rayed in 1991.

"We found out she died probably in her 40s, which was actually a very old age for that time period," Trim said. "She had had children, we can tell that. We know she had arthritis, a little osteoporosis going on."

Tu Tu came to the museum in a sarcophagus, but it wasn't the one in which she was originally buried.

"The sarcophagus is for a gentleman, roughly at the same time period and most likely even from the same district," Trim said. "What we suppose probably happened was maybe Tu Tu's sarcophagus was broken or damaged and then she was put in the next available nice looking sarcophagus and it just so happened to be this one."

You can view Tu Tu at the Mabee- Gerrer Museum of Art in Shawnee Oklahoma. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information visit