The preserved remains of other human beings hold a special fascination for the living.Earthly Remains explores the history and science behind such phenomena and examine cases ranging from ancient Egyptian mummies to twentieth-century politicians, from Iron Age bog bodies to cryonics and modern preservation techniques. After explaining the scientific processes of decay, the authors move on to discuss the bog bodies of northern Europe, including the famous Lindow Man and several Danish examples, many of which were found mutilated or handicapped. The authors then turn their attention to one of the oldest methods of preservation-mummification-looking not only at famous ancient Egyptian examples, but also at the earliest known mummies of the Chinchorro people from South America. The preservation of bodies as a result of environmental factors such as freezing is also addressed, and the painstaking scientific processes involved in unearthing and interpreting finds such as those at Pompeii and Sutton Hoo is described.
Finally, this study would not be complete without a look at modern preservation methods and humanity's perennial search for immortality through techniques such as cryonics, cloning, DNA and suspended animation. Extensively illustrated with haunting images gathered from the collections of cultural institutions around the world, such as the British Museum,Earthly Remains is a compelling book that will appeal to everyone's sense of mystery in the history and origins of our ancestors.show more