Inaccuracies cited in mummy articleRichard O'Mara's May 14...


June 15, 1996

Inaccuracies cited in mummy article

Richard O'Mara's May 14 article, "Wrapped up in mummies," contained inaccuracies concerning mummies in the collection of Goucher College.

The article omitted mention of the fact that the partially unwrapped mummy of a woman on display in Gilman Hall at the Johns Hopkins University (known informally there as "Boris") and one of the mummies on view at the Walters Art Gallery are on loan from Goucher College. The Rev. John Franklin Goucher, the college's founder, received the mummies and other ancient Egyptian artifacts from an Egyptian museum.

In the article, Dr. Goucher appeared as frivolous and crass, when it was reported that he unwrapped the "Boris" mummy for the amusement of dinner guests in his home and punctured the body cavity in a futile search for jewels. This recounting is untrue.

Certainly acceptable museum conservation practice has changed in the past 100 years to preclude removing a mummy's wrappings. However, the only written account of the event, an article that appeared in the Aug. 16, 1895, issue of the Baltimore American, makes it clear that Dr. Goucher's intent was to conduct a scientific examination which, according to the standards of that era, he performed in a responsible manner. He unwrapped the mummy at the college, not at home, and there is no mention made of jewels.

His seriousness of purpose is further attested to by the fact that the only people present were two Baltimore American reporters, whom he had the foresight to invite in order to document the process. The reporters wrote an excellent description that scholars at Hopkins found helpful when they conducted their own non-invasive investigation at the medical school a few years ago.

Helen Glazer


The writer is Goucher's exhibitions director.

Common sense in drug suspect searches

A recent article appeared in The Sun regarding the alleged practice by a group of white Maryland State Police troopers assigned to the Special Traffic Interdiction Force of being somewhat over-zealous in stopping black motorists on I-95 drug searches.

The article went on to mention that troopers were using racial profiles in stopping potential drug couriers. Being a so-called ethnic minority, I find it difficult to fathom what the problem is.

Our cities, neighborhoods, children and society in general are being inundated and decimated by crime as a result of the ''Thunder Road'' antics of these drug traffickers. I see no other way to stop or at least slow them down.

Were I a state trooper assigned to that task force, and not even trained to stop a potential suspect by profile, I would very probably still ''pull over'' the same ones that are being targeted.

There are times when common sense must prevail. I see no great harm or racial problem with being stopped for a brief period by any police officer if my being stopped might save innocent lives. Being of the Gregory Kane school of thought, I don't believe everything has to be racially motivated.

Garland L. Crosby


Litterbugs ruin our fair city

I admit it. I walk my dog every day near the Montebello filtration plant facilities and I don't always pick up after him. However, since mid-February, I have begun to carry two plastic bags with me on my daily walks -- one blue bag for recyclables and one any-other-color-but-blue bag for all other trash.

It never ceases to amaze me how much carelessly discarded trash I am able to collect just walking along near Hillen Road on my way to and from the lake. I've picked up dozens of McDonald's wrappers, paper bags, cups, lids, straws, soda cans, potato chip bags, empty cigarette packs, liquor bottles, candy wrappers, Styrofoam plates, beer cans, juice bottles, napkins, Tastykake wrappers, lottery tickets and all kinds of junk. And this is but a small drop in the bucket considering all the litter that has been thrown around all over the city and state.

I wish there were a way to stop thoughtless people from using the earth as though it were their personal garbage can.

When I was a child, we used to have a song: "Please, please, don't be a litterbug, 'cause every litter bit hurts!"

Nancy Papa Doran


Governor enjoys wildlands benefits

Gov. Parris Glendening recently visited one of Maryland's newest wildlands, the Panther Branch Wildland in the Big Gunpowder Falls State Park.

During that brief visit he observed three different trout species in the clean, cold waters of the river, canoed downstream a short distance and hiked back upstream through the maturing riparian forest.

The area where he began hiking was biologically rich, containing numerous native species of herbs and shrubs beneath the multi-storied forest canopy. Much of the flora was still in bloom, including the fragrant wild pink azalea.

He listened to the songs of interior dwelling birds such as the Acadian flycatcher and the melodious wood thrush.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.