Robert Brier (born December 13, 1943), also known as Mr. Mummy, is an American Egyptologist specializing in paleopathology. A Senior Research Fellow at Long Island University/LIU Post, he has researched and published on mummies and the mummification process and has appeared in many Discovery Civilization documentaries, primarily on ancient Egypt.
Born and raised in The Bronx, New York, Brier earned his bachelor's degree from Hunter College of the City University of New York. From 1966 to 1970, he was on the research staff of the Institute of Parapsychology (formerly the Foundation for Research on the Nature of Man) in Durham, North Carolina, where he worked on such books as Parapsychology Today and Test Your ESP. He earned his PhD in philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1970 and began teaching at Long Island University in 1972. He served as chairman of the philosophy department from 1981 to 1996 and has also served as the director of the National Endowment for the Humanities' "Egyptology Today" program. He was appointed Senior Research Fellow at LIU Post in 2004. In addition to his career at Long Island University, Brier has taught ancient Egyptian at The New School and Egyptology at Webb Institute for many years.
Research and other achievements
Brier has conducted research in mummification practices worldwide. He has investigated well-known mummies such as Tutankhamen, Ramses the Great, Vladimir Lenin, Eva Perón (more commonly known as Evita), and the Medici family.
In 1994, Brier and a colleague, Ronald Wade, director of the State Anatomy Board of Maryland, claimed to be the first people in 2,000 years to mummify a human cadaver using ancient Egyptian techniques. This research earned Brier the affectionate nickname "Mr. Mummy" and was also the subject of the National Geographic television special of the same name, which made him a household name. He is also the host of several television programmes for the TLC Network including The Great Egyptians, Pyramids, Mummies and Tombs, and Mummy Detective. His research has been featured in Archaeology Magazine, The New York Times, CNN, 60 Minutes and 20/20.
In 1999, Brier gave a series of 48 specially-prepared lectures entitled "The History of Ancient Egypt" for The Teaching Company. He later did another series of 12 lectures for them, focusing on "Great Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt". Brier is a recipient of Long Island University's David Newton award for Teaching Excellence.
In addition to his above mentioned research, Brier has also written several articles and books, including:
- "Precognition and the philosophy of science: An essay on backward causation" (1974) ISBN 0-391-00325-9
- "The Glory of Ancient Egypt: A Collection of Rare Engravings from the Napoleonic Expedition" (1990) ISBN 0-8115-4469-9
- "Egyptomania" (June, 1992) ISBN 0-933699-26-3
- "Egyptian Mummies : Unraveling the Secrets of an Ancient Art" (March 14, 1996) ISBN 0-688-14624-4
- "The Encyclopedia of Mummies" (September, 1998) ISBN 0-8160-3906-2
- "The Murder of Tutankhamen" (March 1, 1999) ISBN 0-425-16689-9
- "The Daily Life of the Ancient Egyptians" (with Hoyt Hobbs) (December 30, 1999) ISBN 0-313-30313-4
- The History of Ancient Egypt (2001, lectures published by The Teaching Company)
- Great Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt (2004, lectures published by The Teaching Company)
- "The Secret of the Great Pyramid" (with Jean-Pierre Houdin) (October 6, 2008)
Brier has also written magazine articles for KMT, Archaeology, and others.
He leads tours to Egypt for Far Horizons Archaeological and Cultural trips These include
- LIU Post Faculty: Bob Brier
- IMDB Biography: Bob Brier
- "But Is It ESP?" by Bob Brier, 1973
- University of Vermont, Fleming Museum: "Egyptologist Presents Case for King Tutankhamen's Murder" (October 4, 2005)