The Egyptomania that took over Europe in the 19th century caused a few disturbing trends in society. One of them were so-called unwrapping parties, during which people would observe or even take part in unwrapping ancient mummies, stealing the valuables they could find, or even dissect what was left of the body for “souvenirs” or magic-like medicine. Such parties were supposedly happening in London.
While some scholars today question whether such parties really happened, we can be quite sure that at least one person – surgeon Thomas Pettigrew – was fond of such gatherings, turning them into bizarre shows.
Remember to check out Caitlin Doughty’s video on this topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVDo2tsJeXA