25 The International Ancient Egyptian Mummy Tissue Bank Patricia Lambert-Zazulak The concept of tissue banking is well established, and has many applications in the medical field. Good examples are tissues stored for transplant surgery and also blood and blood product banking, all of which have contributed in many ways to modern medicine and research. Tissues are collected, stored, studied and distributed in a variety of ways appropriate to their uses, and each type of tissue bank has its own scientific and ethical considerations, which are complementary to
24 An investigation into the evidence of age-related osteoporosis in three Egyptian mummies Mervyn Harris Osteoporosis can be defined as a systemic skeletal disease characterised by low bone density, micro-architectural deterioration of bone tissue and low-trauma fragility fractures. Prolonged immobilisation of a limb can result in a localised osteoporosis, whereas in instances of metabolic bone disease, the complete skeleton is affected (Legrand et al. 2000: 13–19). The condition normally affects females far more than males, and in females the onset commonly
Two mummies buried in a museum garden … a coffin that rotates … skulls amassed for dubious research … What if the most interesting stories about Egyptian mummies are not the ones you know?
Mummified explores the curious, unsettling and controversial stories of the Egyptian mummies held by museums in France and Britain. From powdered mummies consumed as medicine, to mummies unrolled in public, dissected for race studies and DNA-tested in modern laboratories, there is a lot more to these ancient human remains than meets the eye. Following mummies on their journeys from Egypt to museums and private collections in Paris, London, Leicester and Manchester, the book revisits the history of these bodies that have fascinated Europeans for so long.
Mummified explores stories of life and death, of collecting and viewing, and of interactions – sometimes violent and sometimes moving – that raise questions about the essence of what makes us human.
In 1964 radiographs of an Egyptian mummy displayed by the, then, Gulbenkian Museum of Art and Archaeology in Durham revealed an artificial upper limb attached to a deformed lower forearm. The limb was removed for further study. It concluded that the deformity was due to pre-mortem, amputation above the wrist, the ancient embalmers applying a crude restoration. In 2005 the author undertook a detailed reappraisal of this restored limb. These findings now suggest that this individual exhibits a congenital deformity to the upper limb. Such a proposal prompts a discourse on how deformity was perceived, not only by ancient Egyptian society but by those across the ancient world. Textual sources have been selected to highlight how perfection of the physical body was prized by some cultures, contrasting this with how those who exhibited ‘otherness’,were either accepted or marginalized.
display. In the same way that he has been with me through my personal journey, Pacheri is going to follow us on the journey that is this book. Because, like many displaced bodies in European museums, he has a story to tell. * I have been interested in stories about Egyptian mummies for many years. I grew up in the suburbs of Paris, and when, at thirteen, I
Before we embark on our journey through these chapters and do some learning and some unlearning, we need to ask one seemingly simple, but actually very complex, question. What, exactly, is a mummy? An Egyptian mummy is the preserved body of an ancient person. 2 It is a body (sometimes wrapped up, and
Golden Mummies of Egypt presents new insights and a rich perspective on beliefs about the afterlife during an era when Egypt was part of the Greek and Roman worlds (c. 300 BCE–200 CE). This beautifully illustrated book, featuring photography by Julia Thorne, accompanies Manchester Museum’s first-ever international touring exhibition. Golden Mummies of Egypt is a visually spectacular exhibition that offers visitors unparalleled access to the museum’s outstanding collection of Egyptian and Sudanese objects – one of the largest in the UK.
: Why are Egyptian mummies still on display in museums today? What is their educational, scientific and emotional purpose? Where do we go from here (‘we’ meaning not just the museum, but you and I)? The past few years have demonstrated that there are new challenges brought about by new
their countries and taken to this little room in the British capital? What was the rationale behind putting so many bodies in a single room – entire bodies and body parts, sometimes as small as a lock of hair, but often as violent and shocking as heads on a shelf? Why was I looking at an Egyptian mummy inside the storage space of a national science museum? And who was behind this impulse to collect the
‘The practice of embalming the dead is deeply interesting, were it to rest upon its antiquity alone’ Thomas Pettigrew 1834 , xv ‘No child is born with a natural interest in mummification; adults, primarily teachers, are their informants’ Bernard Bothmer 1976 , 159 Egyptian mummies regularly top the list of the most visited attractions in museums. Such prominence has fuelled fascination within popular culture, which