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The Mummy Congress: Science, Obsession, and the Everlasting Dead (2001)
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0786884630, Paperback)Mummies fascinate us. As we peer at their withered flesh, we are glimpsing a type of immortality. Heather Pringle tells the stories of some of these "frail elders"--and the scientists who study them--in The Mummy Congress.
Pringle details the tension between the preservationists, who want to protect the ancient dead and refuse to unwrap them, and the dissectionists, who see mummies as a repository of scientific data waiting to be studied. She also introduces the reader to the preserved dead from around the world--from the bog bodies of northern Europe to the mysterious Caucasian-looking mummies from China's Tarim Basin, from Egyptians in linen shrouds to incorruptible Christian saints, and from Lenin in his Moscow mausoleum to Incan children found on Andean mountaintops.
Peppered with fascinating snippets of information--for example, for centuries artists were sold on a pigment called "mummy," a transparent brown made from ground-up mummies--The Mummy Congress makes for lively, if somewhat ghoulish reading. Highly recommended. --Sunny Delaney
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:34 -0400)
Science journalist Heather Pringle explores ancient customs of dealing with the dead, including the ancient Egyptian practice of embalming, horrifying sacrifices performed by South Americans indians, and the modern-day obsession with the preserved dead that has a long and bizarre history.--Container.
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