Tag Archives: mummies

The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec

The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec can be seen for free on Netflix and I recommend it.  It is subtitled in English, being a French film, but that does not detract from the whimsical nature.  Though set in the early 1900s, it has a Steampunk flair to it.  The lead is Adele Blanc-Sec, a female adventurer similar to Indiana Jones.  The film includes pterodactyls, mummies, mysticism, action and lots of humor.  It keeps up the light tone throughout and is fun for all.  A family could easily watch as it would be rated most likely G or PG-13.

 

From Wikipedia:

The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec (French: Les Aventures extraordinaires d’Adèle Blanc-Sec), released as Adèle: Rise of the Mummy in Malaysia and Singapore,[6] is a 2010 French fantasy adventure feature film written and directed by Luc Besson. It is loosely based on the comic book series of the same name by Jacques Tardi and, as in the comic, follows the eponymous writer and a number of recurring side characters in a succession of far-fetched incidents in 1910s Paris and beyond, in this episode revolving around parapsychology and ultra-advanced Ancient Egyptian technology, which both pastiche and subvert adventure and speculative fiction of the period. The primarily live-action film, shot in Super 35,[10] incorporates much use of computer animation to portray its fanciful elements and contemporary action film special and visual effects within the form of the older-style adventure films they have largely superseded.

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‘Meat mummies’ fed Egyptians after death

‘Meat mummies’ fed Egyptians after death

By Stephanie Pappas

Published November 19, 2013

LiveScience
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    Beef rib meat mummy from the tomb of Yuya and Tjuiu (1386-1349 BC). (PNAS)

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    Beef rib meat mummy from the tomb of Yuya and Tjuiu (1386-1349 BC). (PNAS)

Care for some ribs? The royal mummies of ancient Egypt apparently did, as a new study finds that “meat mummies” left in Egyptian tombs as sustenance for the afterlife were treated with elaborate balms to preserve them.

Mummified cuts of meat are common finds in ancient Egyptian burials, with the oldest dating back to at least 3300 B.C. The tradition extended into the latest periods of mummification in the fourth century A.D. The famous pharaoh King Tutankhamun went to his final resting place accompanied by 48 cases of beef and poultry.

But meat mummies have been mostly unstudied until now. University of Bristol biogeochemist Richard Evershed and his colleagues were curious about how these cuts were prepared. They also wondered if the mummification methods for meat differed from how Egyptians mummified people or pets.

The team analyzed four samples from meat mummies archived at the Cairo and British museums. The oldest was a rack of cattle ribs from the tomb of Tjuiu, an Egyptian noblewoman, and her courtier Yuya. The beef dates back to between 1386 B.C. and 1349 B.C. [Gallery: Scanning Mummies for Heart Disease]

The second sample dated to between 1064 B.C. and 948 B.C. and consisted of meat from a calf found in the tomb of Isetemkheb D, a sister and wife to a high priest in Thebes. The final two samples were from the tomb of a Theban priestess, Henutmehyt, who died around 1290 B.C. One of the meat mummies found in Henutmehyt’s tomb was duck, and the other was probably goat.

The researchers conducted a chemical analysis of the bandages or the meat itself in all four samples. They found that animal fat coated the bandages of the calf and goat mummies; in the case of the calf, the fat was on bandages not in contact with the meat, suggesting it had been smeared on as a preservative rather than seeping through as grease.

The most intriguing chemical profile appeared on the beef mummy, however. The bandaging around the mummy contained remnants of an elaborate balm made of fat or oil and resin from a Pistacia tree, a shrubby desert plant. This resin was a luxury item in ancient Egypt, Evershed and his colleagues report today (Nov. 18) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It was used as incense and varnish on high-quality coffins, but it was not used as a human mummification resin for at least 600 years after the deaths of Tjuiu and Yuya.

Nevertheless, it makes sense to see a sophisticated embalming substance on the beef cut, the researchers wrote. Yuya and Tjuiu were an Egyptian power couple and the parents of the wife of pharaoh Amenhotep III. As the queen’s parents, they would have merited a no-expenses-spared burial.

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Egyptian dog mummy infested with bloodsucking parasites

Egyptian dog mummy infested with bloodsucking parasites

By Jeremy Hsu

Published September 24, 2013

LiveScience
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    Close-up of the post mortem vertebral dislocation located between the sixth and seventh cervical vertebrae of the mummified dog discovered at the excavation site of El Deir in Egypt. (CECILE CALLOU | UMR 7209 MNHN/CNRS)

A dog mummy has revealed the first archaeological evidence of bloodsucking parasites plaguing Fido’s ancestors in Egypt during the classical era of Roman rule.

The preserved parasites discovered in the mummified young dog’s right ear and coat include the common brown tick and louse fly tiny nuisances that may have carried diseases leading to the puppy’s early demise. French archaeologists found the infested dog mummy while studying hundreds of mummified dogs at the excavation site of El Deir in Egypt, during expeditions in 2010 and 2011.

“Although the presence of parasites, as well as ectoparasite-borne diseases, in ancient times was already suspected from the writings of the major Greek and Latin scholars, these facts were not archaeologically proven until now,” said Jean-Bernard Huchet, an archaeoentomologist at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris. [See Photos of Dog Mummy Infested with Parasites]

Mentions of dog pests appear in the writings of ancient Greeks and Romans such as Homer, Aristotle and Pliny the Elder, and a painting of a hyenalike animal in an ancient Egyptian tomb dated to the 15th century B.C. shows what is likely the oldest known depiction of ticks. But evidence of ticks, flies and other ectoparasites that infest the outside of the body has been scarce in the archaeological record until now. (The only other known archaeological evidence of ticks comes from fossilized human feces in Arizona.)

Counting the bloodsuckers
The infested dog mummy was discovered in one of many tombs surrounding a Roman fortress built in the late third century A.D. Most of the main tombs were built during a period dating from the fourth century B.C. to the fourth century A.D. a treasure trove for archaeologists, despite the condition of many of the mummies. The French team detailed its findings in the August online issue of the International Journal of Paleopathology.

‘Animals were considered as living incarnations of divine principles and, therefore, associated with deities.’

– Cecile Callou, an archaeozoologist at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris 

Huchet and his colleagues, led by Franoise Dunand and Roger Lichtenberg of the University of Strasbourg in France, found the remains of the parasite-ridden pup among more than 400 dog mummies.

“Among the hundreds of dog mummiesstudied, [many] of them were either skeletonized or still wrapped with bandages,” Huchet told LiveScience. “Moreover, most of the dog remains were seriously damaged by looters.”

The infested young pup stood out with 61 preserved brown dog ticks still clinging to its coat and nestled in its left ear. Such ticks have spread worldwide by feeding on domesticated dogs. They can also infect their hosts with a variety of potentially fatal diseases.

Archaeologists also discovered a single bloodsucking louse fly clinging firmly to the dog’s coat. But the team hypothesizes a tick-borne disease such as canine babesiosis a condition that destroys red blood cells likely caused the young dog’s premature death.

Origins of dog mummies
Hardened skin remains of maturing fly larvae suggested the dying or dead dog had attracted two species of carrion flies before Egyptian handlers mummified the corpse. [See Images of Egyptian Mummification Process]

Ancient Egyptians commonly mummified animals such as dogs, cats and long-legged wading birds called ibis. The dog mummies from the El Deir site almost certainly represented offerings to a jackal-headed Egyptian god such as Anubis or Wepwawet.

“Several reasons have led Egyptians to mummify animals: to eat in the afterlife, to be with pets, etc.,” said Cecile Callou, an archaeozoologist at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris. “But above all, animals were considered as living incarnations of divine principles and, therefore, associated with deities.”

But many questions remain about the mummified dogs of El Deir. Researchers still want to know where the dogs came from, whether they were domestic dogs, whether they had owners and how they died. Callou pointed out that the ancient Egyptians had cat farms where cats were bred to be sacrificed and mummified could the same have been true for dogs?

Digging deeper into history
The French archaeologists hope to find answers to a different set of questions by searching for more preserved ticks and flies among the mummified dogs of El Deir. Such archaeological evidence could show how diseases originated throughout history, provide clues about the geographical spread of parasites, and reveal more about the relationship between parasites and both human and animal evolution.

Specialized lab equipment could yield even more findings from the infested dog mummy and its companions. The French team conducted most of its work on-site at El Deir and completed the examination with highly magnified photos at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris but hopes to eventually get permission to take some mummified samples back to the lab.

“The main problem will be to get the authorization to export mummified samples from Egypt for DNA analysis, since this country does not allow any exportation of archaeological material even tiny samples such as skin fragments and hairs,” Huchet said.

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Mummies Show Clogged Arteries 4,000 years ago.

Even 4,000 year-old mummies had clogged arteries, study reveals

Published March 11, 2013

Associated Press

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    March 10, 2013: A a group of cardiologists lead by Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, USA, show the mummy Hatiay (New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, 1550 to 1295 BCE) as it is returned to its display back in the Antiquities Museaum in Cairo after it underwent a CT scanning. (AP)

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    March 10, 2013: The sarcophagus of the mummy Hatiay (New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, 1550 to 1295 BCE) is closed after the mummy underwent a CT scanning, in Cairo, Egypt. (AP Photo/Dr. Michael Miyamoto)

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    March 10, 2013: Egyptologists prepare the mummy Hatiay (New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, 1550 to 1295 BCE) for CT scanning in Cairo, Egypt, which later demonstrated evidence of extensive vascular disease. (AP Photo/Dr. Michael Miyamoto)

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    March 10, 2013: The mummy Hatiay (New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, 1550 to 1295 BCE) gets a CT scan in Cairo, Egypt, where it was found to have evidence of extensive vascular disease. (AP Photo/Dr. Michael Miyamoto)

Even without modern-day temptations like fast food or cigarettes, people had clogged arteries some 4,000 years ago, according to the biggest-ever hunt for the condition in mummies.

Researchers say that suggests heart disease may be more a natural part of human aging rather than being directly tied to contemporary risk factors like smoking, eating fatty foods and not exercising.

‘Heart disease has been stalking mankind for over 4,000 years.’

– Dr. Randall Thompson, a cardiologist at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City 

CT scans of 137 mummies showed evidence of atherosclerosis, or hardened arteries, in one third of those examined, including those from ancient people believed to have healthy lifestyles. Atherosclerosis causes heart attacks and strokes. More than half of the mummies were from Egypt while the rest were from Peru, southwest America and the Aleutian islands in Alaska. The mummies were from about 3800 B.C. to 1900 A.D.

“Heart disease has been stalking mankind for over 4,000 years all over the globe,” said Dr. Randall Thompson, a cardiologist at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City and the paper’s lead author.

The mummies with clogged arteries were older at the time of their death, around 43 versus 32 for those without the condition. In most cases, scientists couldn’t say whether the heart disease killed them.

The study results were announced Sunday at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology in San Francisco and simultaneously published online in the journal Lancet.

Thompson said he was surprised to see hardened arteries even in people like the ancient Aleutians who were presumed to have a healthy lifestyle as hunter-gatherers.

“I think it’s fair to say people should feel less guilty about getting heart disease in modern times,” he said. “We may have oversold the idea that a healthy lifestyle can completely eliminate your risk.”

Thompson said there could be unknown factors that contributed to the mummies’ narrowed arteries. He said the Ancestral Puebloans who lived in underground caves in modern-day Colorado and Utah, used fire for heat and cooking, producing a lot of smoke.

“They were breathing in a lot of smoke and that could have had the same effect as cigarettes,” he said.

Previous studies have found evidence of heart disease in Egyptian mummies, but the Lancet paper is the largest survey so far and the first to include mummies elsewhere in the world.

Dr. Frank Ruehli of the University of Zurich, who runs the Swiss Mummy Project, said it was clear atherosclerosis was notably present in antiquity and agreed there might be a genetic predisposition to the disease.

“Humans seem to have a particular vulnerability (to heart disease) and it will be interesting to see what genes are involved,” he said. Ruehli was not connected to the study. “This is a piece in the puzzle that may tell us something important about the evolution of disease.”

Other experts warned against reading too much into the mummy data.

Dr. Mike Knapton, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said calcified arteries could also be caused by other ailments including endocrine disorders and that it was impossible to tell from the CT scans if the types of calcium deposits in the mummies were the kind that would have sparked a heart attack or stroke.

“It’s a fascinating study but I’m not sure we can say atherosclerosis is an inevitable part of aging,” he said, citing the numerous studies that have showed strong links between lifestyle factors and heart disease.

Researcher Thompson advised people to live as healthy a lifestyle as possible, noting that the risk of heart disease could be reduced with good eating habits, not smoking and exercising. “We don’t have to end up like the mummies,” he said.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/03/11/study-reveals-even-4000-year-old-mummies-had-clogged-arteries/?intcmp=related#ixzz2NNFOasby

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