Fact check: No, British Museum did not ban the term 'mummy'

The claim: The British Museum has banned the use of the word ‘mummy’

A Jan. 23 Facebook post post (direct link, archived link) claims the British Museum has implemented a new rule about the way it discusses mummies.

“The British Museum has tragically succumbed to advanced wokeness, having recently decided to stop using the word ‘mummy,’” reads the post.

The post was liked more than 80 times within a week. Another version of the claim was shared 60 times.

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Our rating: False

The British Museum has not banned the use of the word ‘mummy,’ nor does it have any plans to do so, a spokesperson for the museum told USA TODAY. The term is currently used in exhibits and on the museum's website.

British Museum still uses term ‘mummy’

The "woke" claim is baseless, the museum says.

“The museum uses both the term ‘mummy’ and ‘mummified remains of’ across current displays and exhibitions,” a spokesperson for the British Museum said in an emailed statement. “The museum has not banned the word ‘mummy’ and there are no plans for it to be phased out.”

In some cases, the museum uses “mummified remains of” when the name of the mummified individual is known. This emphasizes that the remains belong to people who once lived, the spokesperson said.

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The term “mummy,” which refers to a body that is naturally preserved after death, is currently used in the museum's exhibit “Hieroglyphs: Unlocking Ancient Egypt,” the spokesperson said. The term is also used on the web page about the exhibit.

This photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows an ancient Egyptian artifact. Federal agents in Memphis have seized the potentially 3,000-year-old ancient Egyptian artifact that was shipped in from Europe.  U.S. Customs and Border Protection says they intercepted the Egyptian canopic jar lid of the funeral deity named Imsety on Aug. 17, 2022. The jars were used to hold the internal organs of mummies.

The claim appears to stem from a Daily Mail article featuring remarks from different museums about the use of the term.

USA TODAY reached out to the social media users who shared the claim and the Daily Mail for comment.

Reuters also debunked the claim.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: 'Mummy' still used by British Museum, despite viral claim