Mummies and Death in Egypt
"Today, a good century after the first X-rays of mummies, Egyptology has the benefit of all the methods and means at the disposal of forensic medicine. The 'mummy stories' we tell have changed their tone, but they have enjoyed much success, with fantastic scientific and technological results resolving the mysteries of the ancient land of the pharaohs."--from the ForewordMummies are the things that fascinate us most about ancient Egypt. But what are mummies? How did the Egyptians create them? And why? What became of the people they once were? We are learning more all the time about the cultural processes surrounding mummification and the medical characteristics of ancient Egyptian mummies. In the first part of Mummies and Death in Egypt Francoise Dunand gives an overview of the history of mummification in Egypt from the prehistoric to the Roman period. She thoroughly describes the preparations of the dead (tombs and their furnishings, funerary offerings, ornamentation of the corpse, coffins, and canopic jars), and she includes a separate chapter on the mummification of animals. She links these various practices and behaviors to the religious beliefs of classical Egypt. In the second part of this book, Roger Lichtenberg, a physician and archaeologist, offers a fascinating narrative of his forensic research on mummies, much of it conducted with a portable X-ray machine on archaeological digs. His findings have revealed new information on the ages of the mummified, their causes of death, and the illnesses and injuries they suffered. Together, Dunand and Lichtenberg provide a state-of-the-art account of the science of mummification and its social and religious context.
- Hardback | 256 pages
- 185.4 x 261.6 x 27.9mm | 725.76g
- 01 Jan 2007
- Cornell University Press
- Ithaca, United States
- 258 Illustrations, unspecified
"The authors have divided this book into two parts. In the first section, Dunand looks at why and how mummies were made . . . . The second part of the book, written by Lichtenberg, looks in some detail at modern, scientific research on mummies. He draws together research and studies undertaken around the world, but also much of his own, which has involved the use of portable X-ray equipment, which enables on-site investigations of mummies to be made. The results are fascinating and reveal diseases and accidents from which the ancient Egyptians suffered."--Ancient Egypt
About Francoise Dunand
David Lorton, an Egyptologist, is the translator of many books, including Erik Hornung's books The Secret Lore of Egypt and Akhenaten and the Religion of Light, both from Cornell.