Museums in England are recommending against using the word “mummy” to refer to embalmed bodies, particularly those of ancient Egyptians.
Institutions such as the British Museum in London believe that using this term detracts from the humanity of the individuals and prefer to use other expressions like “mummified person” or “mummified remains.”
The mummies were human beings
While Egyptology enthusiasts may be familiar with the collections of sarcophagi that many museums possess, which often contain the bodies of their owners, the British Museum and other museums in Great Britain, such as the Great North Museum in Newcastle and the National Museums of Scotland in Edinburgh, are now choosing to use alternative expressions when referring to these bodies.
A representative from the National Museums of Scotland stated that when the identity of a mummified individual is known, their name will be used, but if their identity is not known, terms such as “man,” “woman,” “boy,” “girl,” or “mummified person” will be used instead.
This decision has been made in order to remind visitors that the bodies they are viewing are those of people who lived, felt, and died thousands of years ago, much like ourselves. The debate surrounding the use of the term “mummy” is ongoing.
Source: Carme Mayans, National Geographic