Patricia Lambert-Zazulak
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The International Ancient Egyptian Mummy Tissue Bank
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The idea to set up the Egyptian Mummy Tissue Bank was conceived of in the context of the worldwide Schistosomiasis Research Project as an opportunity to create a centralised research resource. Initially, its purpose was to help facilitate the study of the paleoepidemiology of schistosomiasis, a disease which has occurred throughout Egyptian history from antiquity to the present day, and for which there are many sources of evidence. This paper will discuss the concept and ethos of the Bank and its foundation and documentation, firstly at the Manchester Museum and later at the KNH Centre. It will describe the research undertaken to locate ancient Egyptian mummified human remains outside of Egypt and the creation of the archive documenting the information thereby obtained. The paper will consider the various techniques involved in collecting the samples loaned as deposits in the Bank, and the administration and recording of this material. Since the inception of the Bank, samples have been carefully selected and allocated for specific scientific research projects in a multidisciplinary environment, thereby ensuring the best chance of obtaining results and conserving the resources of the Bank. The Bank is now a well-established research facility available to the scientific community with the aim of contributing to knowledge of Egyptian mummification and the health and medicine of the ancient Egyptian population. The data thereby produced is reported to the depositors which have generously loaned tissue for deposit in the Bank, as well as contributing to new publications.

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