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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 05-03-2011 11:27    Post subject: Reply with quote

She's aged well: Face of incredibly preserved 700-year-old mummy found by chance by Chinese road workers
By Oliver Pickup
Last updated at 2:55 PM on 4th March 2011

These incredible pictures show a 700-year-old mummy, which was discovered by chance - by road workers - in excellent condition in eastern China.
The corpse of the high-ranking woman believed to be from the Ming Dynasty - the ruling power in China between 1368 and 1644 - was stumbled across by a team who were looking to expand a street.

And the mummy, which was found in the city of Taizhou, in the Jiangsu Province, along with two other wooden tombs, offers a fascinating insight into life as it was back then.
Discovered two metres below the road surface, the woman's features - from her head to her shoes - have retained their original condition, and have hardly deteriorated.

When the discovery was made by the road workers, late last month, Chinese archaeologists, from the nearby Museum of Taizhou, were called into excavate the area, the state agency Xinhua News reported.
They were surprised by the remarkably good condition of the woman's skin, hair, eyelashes and face. It was as though she had only recently died.

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MING DYNASTY FACTS

The Ming Dynasty was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644

It was 'one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history' according to venerated tome A history of East Asian civilization

Ming rule saw the construction of a vast navy and a standing army of one million troops

There were enormous construction projects, including the restoration of the Grand Canal and the Great Wall and the establishment of the Forbidden City in Beijing (pictured) during the first quarter of the 15th century

Estimates for the late-Ming population vary from 160 to 200 million
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Her body, which measures 1.5 metres high, was found at the construction site immersed in a brown liquid inside the coffin.
And the coffin was opened earlier this week, on March 1, much to the excitement of the local city - and further afield. And the right hand of the 700-year-old mummy showed her preserved skin, and a ring.

The mummy was wearing traditional Ming dynasty costume, and also in the coffin were bones, ceramics, ancient writings and other relics.
This is the latest discovery after a lull of three years in the area. Indeed, between 1979 and 2008 five mummies were found, all in very good condition.
Those findings raising the interest in learning the techniques of preservation funeral of this dynasty and customs in time to bury the dead.

Director of the Museum of Taizhou, Wang Weiyin, told Xinhua that the mummy's clothes are made mostly of silk, with a little cotton.
He said usually silk and cotton are very hard to preserve and excavations found that this mummifying technology was used only at very high-profile funerals.

The first finding of the Ming Dynasty in Taizhou dates from May 1979 and led the opening of the museum.
At that time the bodies were also found intact, but due to lack of experience of archaeologists only clothing, belts and clamps could be preserved.

The Ming Dynasty, who built the Forbidden City and restored the Great Wall, was the last in China and marked an era of economic growth and cultural splendour which produced the first commercial contacts with the West.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1362957/700-year-old-mummy-road-workers-east-China-excellent-condition.html#ixzz1Fiu995Pc
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 01-07-2011 19:13    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Unveiling Animal Mummies
Powerful CT scans reveal thousand-year-old secrets from a collection of preserved animals from ancient Egypt.
By Cristina Luiggi | July 1, 2011
http://the-scientist.com/2011/07/01/unveiling-animal-mummies/

Stuffed into the sand-buffeted ancient ruins scattered about the Nile Delta are tens of millions of mummified animals. Birds, cats, dogs, crocodiles, snakes—nearly all manner of creature that lived during the time of the Egyptian pharaohs—were carefully preserved and tucked away in the depths of temple catacombs.

For the past 74 years, around five dozen of these mummified animals have sat on the polished display tables and dusty shelves of the Brooklyn Museum like unopened presents. Their time-worn linens and tightly-sealed sarcophaguses have guarded their inner contents for thousands of years, leaving the museum curators and historians to glean clues from external observation.


Video: CT scanning mummies

But in preparation for an upcoming exhibition of Egyptian animal mummies, Brooklyn Museum curator Edward Bleiberg and conservationist Lisa Bruno joined forces with veterinary radiologist Anthony Fischetti to use one of the most powerful medical imaging tools—X-ray computed tomography (CT scan for short)—to reveal the inner secrets of mummified specimens in exquisite detail.

For seven hours on Friday, June 17th, Fischetti and his team of technicians subjected 32 animal mummies from the Brooklyn collection to the powerful X-rays of a CT scanner housed on the 8th floor of the Animal Medical Center (AMC) in Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

The chaotic scene was the 21st-century version of a Victorian-era mummy unwrapping. Amid constant camera flashes, journalists, photographers, bloggers, and the occasional curious veterinary intern, huddled around the mummy handlers in order to catch a glimpse of the ancient creatures as they were removed from the safety of their boxes and readied for the scanner bed.

One by one, cats, Ibises, mice, crocodiles, hawks, snakes, the odd egg, and a couple of unknowns were showered with a hefty dose of radiation—much higher than what Fischetti uses on his living patients—in order to penetrate through dense material such as the resin that Egyptians used to preserve the animals.

Within seconds of the each scan, Fischetti would issue preliminary verdicts:

“There’s not much in this one.”

“This just looks like a hollow bird bone.”

“Could that be a baby?”

“This one is a little too well preserved. Are you sure you didn’t make this in Brooklyn?”

Some mummies turned out to be nothing but bundles of linen. Others, thought to hold the remains of birds, just contained feathers. Still others were a mélange of bones from different animals. Fischetti scanned a beautifully preserved Ibis, followed by an unidentifiable sack of shattered bones.

It will take him a couple of weeks to piece together the hundreds of cross-sectional X-ray images that were generated for each mummy in order to reconstruct highly detailed three-dimensional images.

Both Bleiberg and Bruno, who had previously gotten glimpses of what lay inside the mummies from traditional radiographs, are hoping that the more advanced CT scans will unleash a flood of new information about how and why, for a period of around 500 years, the ancient Egyptians were so keen to mummify animals.

Despite their sheer number, very little attention has been paid to animal mummies over the past few centuries. In fact, they often represent a nuisance to archaeologists who, in order to study recently-excavated temples, must first clear out thousands—sometimes millions—of mummified animals that filled inner chambers from floor to ceiling.

“One of the things we’re very interested in is identifying the cause of death,” Bleiberg adds. Most experts now believe that ancient Egyptians ritualistically sacrificed and mummified animals as offerings to the gods. Indeed, in some of the mummies that were CT scanned, Fischetti was able to recognize the tell-tale-signs of a broken neck or blunt force trauma.

“X-rays are only going to tell you so much,” Bruno says. “We really wanted to get CT scans done so that we could get a three dimensional image and actually see soft tissue.”
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 18-10-2011 09:01    Post subject: Reply with quote

Meet the Tutankhamun of Torquay: Terminally ill taxi driver who chose to have his body mummified for a Channel 4 documentary
By Colin Fernandez
Last updated at 9:17 AM on 18th October 2011

One ruled over a vast kingdom from his royal palace by the Nile. The other reigned over the roads from behind the wheel of his taxi in Torquay.
But despite their vastly different lives, and the thousands of years between them, King Tutankhamun and Alan Billis have one important thing in common.
The late Mr Billis has become the first man to be mummified in the style of the ancient Egyptians for at least 3,000 years.
Using the techniques that preserved Tutankhamun’s body after his death in 1323BC, scientists embalmed the 61-year-old following his death from lung cancer.

Mr Billis, who loved watching documentaries, agreed to have his body preserved after seeing an advertisement from a television company looking to film the process.
His wife Janet, 68, said: ‘He just said, “I’ve just phoned someone up about being mummified.” I said, “You’ve what?” I thought here we go again. It’s just the sort of thing you would expect him to do.’

But Mrs Billis and the couple’s three grown-up children gave his decision their blessing, and the resulting programme – Mummifying Alan: Egypt’s Last Secret – was screened on Channel 4 last night.

Taxi driver Mr Billis, who has been dubbed Torquay’s Tutankhamun, explained his unusual decision in the documentary, saying: ‘People have been leaving their bodies to science for years, and if people don’t volunteer for anything nothing gets found out.’
Over a period of several months following his death in January, Mr Billis’s internal organs were removed and kept in jars, with the exception of his brain and heart.
His skin was covered in a mixture of oils and resins and bathed in a solution of Natron, a salt found in dried-up river beds in Egypt.

After a month in a glass tank at the Medico-Legal Centre in Sheffield, which houses the city’s mortuary, his body was taken out, placed in a drying chamber and wrapped in linen.

Dr Stephen Buckley of the University of York, who helped research Egyptian mummification techniques before the programme, said Mr Billis’s body could now last several millennia.
And wherever Mr Billis goes, a folder full of drawings by his grandchildren goes with him.

In an interview with the Radio Times, Mrs Billis said: ‘I didn’t find it upsetting. There wasn’t anything scary.
'I think it was because you could see they all took such good care of Alan. When I did eventually watch the film and saw his mummified face, you could see it was still him, still very much Alan. “I won’t be Tutankhamun, I’ll be Tutanalan,” he used to say. Cool
‘The involvement in the television programme kept him occupied, took his mind off the illness.’

As well as Dr Buckley, the team of experts behind the mummification included Dr Joann Fletcher, Maxine Coe and forensic pathologist Peter Vanezis. Professor Vanezis said he was pleased with the result, adding: ‘The skin itself has this leathery appearance which indicates that he has become mummified all over.
‘It makes me very confident that his tissues have been mummified correctly and in a very successful manner.’

Mr Billis’s mummy is expected to stay in Sheffield until the end of 2011. It will then be studied by scientists researching decomposition.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2050293/Terminally-ill-taxi-driver-Alan-Billis-mummified-Channel-4-documentary.html#ixzz1b7cvvH6C
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KondoruOffline
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PostPosted: 18-10-2011 14:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who said death cant be fun?
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 19-10-2011 07:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

You’d have to be barmy to get your body embalmed
Putting your remains in the hands of others can only result in a grisly end.
By Rowan Pelling
8:33PM BST 18 Oct 2011

There are many questions you might expect on the Today programme, but not: “Why did you want to mummify someone?” The response from archaeological chemist Stephen Buckley was unsatisfactory: “I’d done experiments with animals – pigs – as a proxy for humans, but I really felt that… it was important to do a human to really demonstrate that this could be done.” Ah, the old “to show it could be done” rationale: I now keenly anticipate his investigations into the head-shrinking practices of the Jivaroan people of Ecuador and Peru.

The motivation of taxi driver Alan Billis in offering his corpse to Channel 4’s history boffins seems rather more understandable. He was terminally ill, he loved documentaries, and was tickled by the idea of his grandchildren saying after his death: “My granddad’s a pharaoh.”

I can see how a jape that endures beyond the grave is a diverting idea. Concert pianist André Tchaikowsky displayed this kind of mordant wit when he left his skull (as used in David Tennant’s Hamlet) to the Royal Shakespeare Company. Indeed, if I succumb to some frightful malaise, I plan to instruct my family to keep my left foot as a paperweight, in the manner of horsey types who preserve their favourite hunter’s hoof.

My only qualm is that Mr Billis may not have considered where his remains will be in a century or so. After the outlaw Elmer McCurdy was killed in a gunfight, his body was embalmed by an undertaker who charged a nickel a time to see “The Bandit Who Wouldn’t Give Up”. Five years later, McCurdy’s supposed long-lost brother pitched up, declaring that he wanted to give the body a proper burial. A fortnight later, the cadaver was the star exhibit in a travelling carnival; it was displayed at museums and haunted houses before being hung from a gallows inside the “Laff in the Dark” funfair attraction at Long Beach. McCurdy’s identity was only re-established after someone accidentally snapped an arm, and discovered that the “prop” was a real corpse. Shocked

You might have imagined that the remains of the social reformer Jeremy Bentham would be treated with greater respect, but no. His embalmed corpse (with separate head) was acquired by University College London in 1850, and displayed in a wooden cabinet; the head eventually had to be removed following one too many pranks by students. All in all, it seems safest to leave one’s body to the worms.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/8833967/Youd-have-to-be-barmy-to-get-your-body-embalmed.html
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KondoruOffline
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PostPosted: 19-10-2011 08:44    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, theres always one naysayer....

At least hes not taking up vaulable cemetry room...
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 12-07-2012 06:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mighty_Emperor wrote:
Merged a few threads to make a general mummies one.

There are still several other threads out there, including this new one:

Japanese Buddhist Mummies
http://www.forteantimes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=49501&highlight=

Time for another tidy up?
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 14-08-2012 20:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Chilean team proposes theory on why early culture began to mummify their dead
August 14th, 2012 in Space & Earth / Earth Sciences

Head of a mummy from the Chinchorro culture, found in Northern Chile. Source: Wikipedia

(Phys.org) -- Researchers in Chile, led by Pablo Marqueta, an ecologist with Universidad Católica de Chile have come up with a new theory to explain why a civilization that thrived some seven thousand years ago suddenly began to mummify their dead. In their paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Marqueta and his team suggest that it was due to constant exposure to dead bodies as the group lived in an area that was so dry, bodies didn’t decompose.

Marqueta et al, hypothesized that the Chinchorro, hunter-gatherers that lived in the desert region of what is now northern Chile and southern Peru, from about 10,000 years ago to around 4,000 years ago, began mummifying their dead as a way to deal with the bodies of those that had passed on, but refused to decompose. The bodies wouldn’t decompose because it was simply too dry; the area is one of the driest places on Earth. Thus over time, because the Chinchorro buried their dead in shallow graves, the wind would partially uncover them, leaving those still alive to be constantly exposed to thousands of such bodies in their lifetime. But that was only part of the story they say.

After studying ice samples from a nearby volcano, and other ecological factors, the team deduced that the area in which the Chinchorro lived experienced a time around six to seven thousand years ago, of a relative increase in water, but not in the air. More snow fell in the mountains leading to more water flowing down into the valleys, which led to more fish in the ocean nearby. The Chinchorro thrived, leading to groups as large as a hundred or more individuals. And when group size increases, the team says, along with prosperity, culture thrives as new ideas are exchanged.

The combination of the two, the group says, led to burial rituals, one of which was mummification, a natural extension of what the people were already seeing around them. This idea is reinforced by the fact that when conditions changed the mummification stopped. Around four thousand years ago, the heavier snows in the mountains ceased, leading to less water, less fish in the ocean, and a declining human population.

More information: PNAS August 13, 2012 doi: 10.1073/pnas.1116724109

© 2012 Phys.Org

"Chilean team proposes theory on why early culture began to mummify their dead." August 14th, 2012. http://phys.org/news/2012-08-chilean-team-theory-early-culture.html
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KondoruOffline
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PostPosted: 14-08-2012 20:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

So it started out as a natural process?

that theorys hardly new

In fact, its mummified.
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 14-08-2012 20:46    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kondoru wrote:
So it started out as a natural process?

that theorys hardly new

In fact, its mummified.


Where did you dig that up?

Have to admit its fascinating to read about a hunter gatherer society all those millennia ago in South America.
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kamalktkOffline
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PostPosted: 14-08-2012 22:06    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naturally mummified, with some great tattoos.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2188157/The-astonishing-2-500-year-old-tattoos-Siberian-princess--little-changed-art.html
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 14-08-2012 22:53    Post subject: Reply with quote

kamalktk wrote:
Naturally mummified, with some great tattoos.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2188157/The-astonishing-2-500-year-old-tattoos-Siberian-princess--little-changed-art.html


Excellent.
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PostPosted: 07-12-2012 00:55    Post subject: Reply with quote

Redheaded Tocharian Mummies of the Uyghir Area, China


Some excellent pictures - the general gist is that there was a network between East and West earlier then previously thought.

http://frontiers-of-anthropology.blogspot.sg/2012/11/redheaded-tocharian-mummies-of-uyghir.html
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 07-12-2012 01:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zilch5 wrote:
Redheaded Tocharian Mummies of the Uyghir Area, China


Some excellent pictures - the general gist is that there was a network between East and West earlier then previously thought.

http://frontiers-of-anthropology.blogspot.sg/2012/11/redheaded-tocharian-mummies-of-uyghir.html


Interesting book on the topic: The Mummies of Urumchi by Elizabeth Wayland Barber. Review: http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-393-04521-5
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PostPosted: 07-12-2012 02:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

ramonmercado wrote:


Interesting book on the topic: The Mummies of Urumchi by Elizabeth Wayland Barber. Review: http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-393-04521-5


Thanks! I will put it on my Christmas wishlist - but I will doubt I will get it. Sad
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