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Mummy Facts

Mummy Facts

  1. Mummification was not limited to Egyptians. Greeks and Romans who resided in Egypt were also mummified in Egyptian fashion.
  2. The process of mummification continued in Egypt as late as the fifth century c.e., then slowly tapered off when Christianity took hold.
  3. From 400 to 1400 c.e. there was a common belief that mummia was a potent medicine with curative powers. This mummia was obtained by grinding up actual mummies.
  4. Many travelers who visited Egypt from Europe in the 1600s and 1700s took mummies home and displayed them as centerpieces or in curio cabinets.
  5. The study of Egyptian antiquities, known as Egyptology, became a popular academic discipline in the 1800s. The event of "unwrapping a mummy" became a most popular attraction and draw to European museums.
  6. In 1896, British archaeologist William Flinders Petrie began using X-ray techniques to examine mummies without unwrapping them.
  7. In the early 1970s, scientists began using computed tomography, or CAT scans, to create images of the insides of mummies. This aided them in determining information about the embalming and wrapping processes the Egyptians used.
  8. During the 1980s and 1990s, scientists extracted DNA from mummies in hopes of gathering information about ancient Egyptian patterns of settlement and migration, as well as information on diseases and genetic characteristics.
  9. Recent approaches to studying mummies involve the interdisciplinary cooperation of Egyptologists, physicians, radiologists, physical anthropologists, and specialists in ancient languages.
  10. Recent discoveries of mummies in the Sinai Peninsula, the desert oases, and the eastern delta of the Nile River are providing abundant information about the regional mummification styles.

Sources:

teeter, emily. presentation of maat: ritual and legitimacy in ancient egypt and scarabs, scarboids, seals and seal impressions from medinet habu. n.p., n.d.

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