Owing to their unique state of preservation, mummies provide us with significant historical and scientific knowledge of humankind'spast. This handbook, written by prominent international experts in mummy studies, offers readers a comprehensive guide to new understandings of the field's most recent trends and developments. It provides invaluable information on the health states and pathologies of historic populations and civilizations, as well as their socio-cultural and religious characteristics. Addressing the developments in mummy studies that have taken place over the past two decades - which have been neglected for as long a time - the authors excavate the ground-breaking research that has transformed scientific and cultural knowledge of our ancient predecessors. The handbook investigates the many new biotechnological tools that are routinely applied in mummy studies, ranging from morphological inspection and endoscopy to minimally invasive radiological techniques that are used to assess states of preservation. It also looks at the paleoparasitological and pathological approaches that have been employed to reconstruct the lifestyles and pathologic conditions of ancient populations, and considers the techniques that have been applied to enhance biomedical knowledge, such as craniofacial reconstruction, chemical analysis, stable isotope analysis and ancient DNA analysis. This interdisciplinary handbook will appeal to academics in historical, anthropological, archaeological and biological sciences, and will serve as an indispensable companion to researchers and students interested in worldwide mummy studies.
About the Author
Dong Soon Shin graduated from medical school in South Korea, trained as anatomist in graduate school, and currently studies paleopathology and biological anthropology as a professor at Seoul National University, South Korea. Over the years, his research interests have been mainly focused in pre-modern people's health, and on diseases in history. Using research tools ranging from anatomical and histological techniques to various biochemical analyses, he studies the changing patterns of physical or pathological traits of our ancestors at each stage throughout human history. Raffaella Bianucci is bioanthropologist at Warwick Medical School, Microbiology and Infection Division, The University of Warwick (UK). Her research interests focus on the history, modality of trasmission and biological profiles of epidemic diseases in past populations. She has a peculiar interest for human mummification practices in different areas of the world. She has worked both on Ancient Egyptian mummies, Dutch bog bodies and 18th to 19th century church mummies.