Mummies, Disease and Ancient Cultures

The book can be divided into three sections: Mummies of Egypt, Mummies of the Americans and Mummies of the world.

Egyptian mummification is the most widely explored topic and analysis of Egyptian mummies is most matured. It shows the development of human preservation dated from the predynastic burial to the established 3 types of mummification practiced by professionals.No doubt that Egyptian mummies are fascinated. In this books, the detail examination of  couples of mummies show us the skills of mummification of kings and common people, Paleopathology,ancient botanic and insects e.t.c. It is a bit too dry to read these paper as they are very academic but they are very interesting.

Personally I am very interested in the 3rd part which discussed Bog bodies, Mummification in Australia and Melanesia, and Japanese mummies. I have studies in University of Sydney but I didn’t aware there is a well preserved Torres Strait mummy housed in Macleay Museum. I must go and have a look next year. The self mummification of Japanese monks might be originated from ancient China. But as a Chinese, I never saw any (dry)mummies on public museums (but I did see some mummies preserved in liquid).

Though it is not fulled proved, mummification is very likely to be a world wide phenomenon, either natural or artificial. It reflects the desire of human being of achieving immortality.


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