Anthropology essay assignment: Mummy

This month’s Anthropology Essay Assignment for Classrooms is to write a 50-word essay summarizing the anthropological and psychological import of this Associated Press report. It describes a situation in the city of Concord, New Hampshire. Here are sentences from the beginning, middle, and end of that report:

The mummified body of a baby, kept by a family for nearly a century before a judge ordered the remains to be buried, has been removed from a cemetery, police said Tuesday….

The mummified body had been kept for years by Charles Peavey. He had said the family had the mummy, possibly the stillborn son of a great-great-uncle, for 80 to 90 years and considered it a family heirloom….

Relatives had treated the mummified infant as a family member, giving it cards during holidays and a dried fish as a pet.

(Thanks to investigator Erika Shira for bringing this to our attention.)