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A long incision located on the right abdominal wall, and the absence of internal organs, indicated that the body had been eviscerated post-mortem , possibly in an effort to preserve the remains.

Ancient Egypt, the Rise and Fall (History of the Egyptian Empire)

Johan Binneman in The mummies of Asia are usually considered to be accidental. The decedents were buried in just the right place where the environment could act as an agent for preservation. This is particularly common in the desert areas of the Tarim Basin and Iran. Mummies have been discovered in more humid Asian climates, however these are subject to rapid decay after being removed from the grave. Mummies from various dynasties throughout China 's history have been discovered in several locations across the country.

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They are almost exclusively considered to be unintentional mummifications. Many areas in which mummies have been uncovered are difficult for preservation, due to their warm, moist climates. This makes the recovery of mummies a challenge, as exposure to the outside world can cause the bodies to decay in a matter of hours. An example of a Chinese mummy that was preserved despite being buried in an environment not conducive to mummification is Xin Zhui. Also known as Lady Dai, she was discovered in the early s at the Mawangdui archaeological site in Changsha.

Her corpse was so well-preserved that surgeons from the Hunan Provincial Medical Institute were able to perform an autopsy. Some of the more infamous mummies to be discovered in China are those termed Tarim mummies because of their discovery in the Tarim Basin. The dry desert climate of the basin proved to be an excellent agent for desiccation. For this reason, over Tarim mummies, which are over 4, years old, were excavated from a cemetery in the present-day Xinjiang region.

Mair claims that " the earliest mummies in the Tarim Basin were exclusively Caucasoid, or Europoid " with "east Asian migrants arriving in the eastern portions of the Tarim Basin around 3, years ago", while Mair also notes that it was not until that the Uighur peoples settled in the area.

As of , at least eight mummified human remains have been recovered from the Douzlakh Salt Mine at Chehr Abad in northwestern Iran. Later isotopic research on the other mummies returned similar dates, however, many of these individuals were found to be from a region that is not closely associated with the mine. It was during this time that researchers determined the mine suffered a major collapse, which likely caused the death of the miners. In , a team of Russian archaeologists led by Dr.

Also known as Princess Ukok, the mummy was dressed in finely detailed clothing and wore an elaborate headdress and jewelry. Alongside her body were buried six decorated horses and a symbolic meal for her last journey. The Ice Maiden has been a source of some recent controversy. The mummy's skin has suffered some slight decay, and the tattoos have faded since the excavation. Some residents of the Altai Republic , formed after the breakup of the Soviet Union , have requested the return of the Ice Maiden, who is currently stored in Novosibirsk in Siberia. Another Siberian mummy, a man, was discovered much earlier in His skin was also marked with tattoos of two monsters resembling griffins , which decorated his chest, and three partially obliterated images which seem to represent two deer and a mountain goat on his left arm.

Philippine mummies are called Kabayan Mummies. They are common in Igorot culture and their heritage.

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The mummies are found in some areas named Kabayan , Sagada and among others. The mummies are dated between the 14th and 19th centuries. The European continent is home to a diverse spectrum of spontaneous and anthropogenic mummies. The Capuchin monks that inhabited the area left behind hundreds of intentionally-preserved bodies that have provided insight into the customs and cultures of people from various eras. New mummies continue to be uncovered in Europe well into the 21st Century. The United Kingdom , the Republic of Ireland , Germany , the Netherlands , Sweden , and Denmark have produced a number of bog bodies , mummies of people deposited in sphagnum bogs , apparently as a result of murder or ritual sacrifices.

In such cases, the acidity of the water, low temperature and lack of oxygen combined to tan the body's skin and soft tissues. The skeleton typically disintegrates over time. Such mummies are remarkably well preserved on emerging from the bog, with skin and internal organs intact; it is even possible to determine the decedent's last meal by examining stomach contents.

She was erroneously identified as an early medieval Danish queen, and for that reason was placed in a royal sarcophagus at the Saint Nicolai Church, Vejle , where she currently remains. Another famous bog body, also from Denmark, known as the Tollund Man was discovered in The corpse was noted for its excellent preservation of the face and feet, which appeared as if the man had recently died.

To this day, only the head of Tollund Man remains, due to the decomposition of the rest of his body, which was not preserved along with the head. The mummies of the Canary Islands belong to the indigenous Guanche people and date to the time before 14th Century Spanish explorers settled in the area.


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All deceased people within the Guanche culture were mummified during this time, though the level of care taken with embalming and burial varied depending on individual social status. Embalming was carried out by specialized groups, organized according to gender, who were considered unclean by the rest of the community.

The techniques for embalming were similar to those of the ancient Egyptians; involving evisceration, preservation, and stuffing of the evacuated bodily cavities, then wrapping of the body in animal skins. Despite the successful techniques utilized by the Guanche, very few mummies remain due to looting and desecration. The majority of mummies recovered in the Czech Republic come from underground crypts. While there is some evidence of deliberate mummification, most sources state that desiccation occurred naturally due to unique conditions within the crypts.

The Capuchin Crypt in Brno contains three hundred years of mummified remains directly below the main altar. The unique air quality and topsoil within the crypt naturally preserved the bodies over time. Approximately fifty mummies were discovered in an abandoned crypt beneath the Church of St. The Klatovy catacombs currently house an exhibition of Jesuit mummies, alongside some aristocrats, that were originally interred between — In the early s, the mummies were accidentally damaged during repairs, resulting in the loss of bodies.

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The newly updated airing system preserves the thirty-eight bodies that are currently on display. She was found with several artifacts made of bronze, consisting of buttons, a belt plate, and rings, showing she was of higher class. All of the hair had been removed from the skull later when farmers had dug through the casket. Her original hairstyle is unknown. All three mummies were dated to — BC. The Skrydstrup Woman was unearthed from a tumulus in Southern Jutland, in Carbon dating showed that she had died around BC; examination also revealed that she was around 18—19 years old at the time of death, and that she had been buried in the summertime.

Her hair had been drawn up in an elaborate hairstyle, which was then covered by a horse hair hairnet made by the sprang technique. She was wearing a blouse and a necklace as well as two golden earrings, showing she was of higher class.

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The Egtved Girl , dated to BC, was also found inside a sealed coffin within a tumulus, in She was wearing a bodice and a skirt, including a belt and bronze bracelets. Found with the girl, at her feet, were the cremated remains of a child and, by her head, a box containing some bronze pins, a hairnet, and an awl. The discovery proved to be scientifically important, and by an exhibition was established in the Museum of Natural History in Budapest.

Unique to the Hungarian mummies are their elaborately decorated coffins, with no two being exactly alike. The varied geography and climatology of Italy has led to many cases of spontaneous mummification.

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The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo were built in the 16th century by the monks of Palermo's Capuchin monastery. Originally intended to hold the deliberately mummified remains of dead friars, interment in the catacombs became a status symbol for the local population in the following centuries. Burials continued until the s, with one of the most famous final burials being that of Rosalia Lombardo.

In all, the catacombs host nearly mummies.

See: Catacombe dei Cappuccini. The most recent discovery of mummies in Italy came in , when sixty mummified human remains were found in the crypt of the Conversion of St Paul church in Roccapelago di Pievepelago , Italy. Built in the 15th century as a cannon hold and later converted in the 16th century, the crypt had been sealed once it had reached capacity, leaving the bodies to be protected and preserved. The crypt was reopened during restoration work on the church, revealing the diverse array of mummies inside.

The bodies were quickly moved to a museum for further study. The mummies of North America are often steeped in controversy, as many of these bodies have been linked to still-existing native cultures. While the mummies provide a wealth of historically-significant data, native cultures and tradition often demands the remains be returned to their original resting places. This has led to many legal actions by Native American councils, leading to most museums keeping mummified remains out of the public eye.