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15 Shocking Facts About Ancient Mummies That Most People Don’t Know

6. Artists between 16th-19th century used a type of Brown Paint called “Mummy Brown” that was made from Ground Up Mummies

Facts About Mummies, Mummy Brown
Image source: www.ancient-origins.net

In the 16th and 17th century, Egyptian mummies were used to produce a type of paint, which was called Mummy Brown, whose main ingredient was Ground up Mummies. This powder was mixed with white pitch and myrrh to produce a rich brown pigment. The paint was commonly used amongst the Pre-Raphaelite painters of the mid-19th century-notably Sir William Beechey, a British portraitist kept stocks of Mummy Brown as did the French artist Martin Drölling. Besides painting, the Mummy Brown was also used in Medicines-where it was known as Mummy Powder- since they contained bitumen, which was used by the ancient Greeks to cure a variety of diseases. The modern pigment sold as “Mummy Brown” is composed of a mixture of kaolin, quartz, goethite and hematite, the hematite and goethite (generally 60% of the content) determining the color.(source)

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7. A 2,100-year-old Mummy Was Found in China Whose Skin Was Moist, Joints Were Flexible And Blood Was Running In Veins Besides Having All Organs Intact

Facts About Mummies, Lady Dai Mummy
Image source: www.ancient-origins.net

In 1971, workers digging an air raid shelter near the city of Changsha uncovered a Han Dynasty-era tomb that contained a tomb belonging to Xin Zhui, the wife of the ruler of the Han imperial fiefdom of Dai. Xin Zhui, the Lady of Dai, died between 178 and 145 BC, at around 50 years of age and her 2,100 years old Mummy was uncovered during the excavation. Autopsy revealed that she died from a heart-attack at 50 years of age due to obesity. When her Mummy was recovered, she still had moist skin, her joints were still flexible and every feature remained intact down to her eyelashes and the hair in her nostrils, including blood that ran in her veins. Lady Dai was found in an airtight tomb 12 metres underground, locked inside four layers of coffins. A thick layer of white paste-like soil was on the floor. Her body had been buried in 20 layers of silk and she was found in 80 litres of an unknown liquid.(source)

8. 3,000-year-old “Frankenstein” Mummies Were Found In Scotland Consisting Of 2 Bodies Made From 6 People

Facts About Mummies, Frankenstein Mummies
Image source: news.nationalgeographic.com

Archaeologists in 2001, found a pair of 3,000-year-old skeletons at Cladh Hallan of one male and one female, in fetal position. What was startling in this discovery was that the male skeleton was actually a composite wherein its torso, skull and neck, and lower jaw belonged to three separate men. As for the female skeleton, it was also a composite formed from a male skull, a female torso, and the arm of a third person, whose gender has yet to be determined. Carbon dating indicated that the skull of the female mummy was probably 50 to 200 years older than the torso. Scientists also determined that the bodies had been placed in a peat bog just long enough to preserve them and then removed. The skeletons were then reburied hundreds of years later.(source)

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9. During Roman era, Egyptian Mummies Were Sometimes Accompanied By Their Portraits With Lifelike Quality On Wooden Boards. Nearly 1000 Of These Portraits Exist Today

Facts About Mummies, Fayum Portraits
Image source: thumbs.media.smithsonianmag.com

Scores of exquisite portraits executed on wood panels by anonymous artists were uncovered by British archaeologist W.M. Flinders between 1887 and 1889, in Fayum, a massive oasis region 150 miles south of Alexandria. Called Fayum Mummy Portraits, these portraits were associated with the Mummified bodies, and their lifelike qualities, intensity and details have startled researchers and scientists alike. Scientists at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek museum in Copenhagen, analyzed one such portrait and found extensive use of Egyptian blue, a copper-containing synthetic pigment, around the eyes, nose and mouth, perhaps to create shading, and mixed with red elsewhere on the skin, perhaps to enhance the illusion of flesh. A total of 1,000 Fayum paintings exist in collections in Egypt and at the Louvre, the British and Petrie museums in London.(source)

10. A Research Conducted on 137 Mummies Acorss 4,000 Years Found Hardening of Arteries Which Has Dispelled The Myth That Heart Disease Is a Product Of Modern Society

Facts About Mummies, Clogged Arteries in Mummies
Image source: i.dailymail.co.uk

Caleb Finch, a neurobiologist at the University of Southern California, performed CT scans to analyze the arteries of 137 mummies that spanned 4,000 years. The mummies belonged to the Peruvian, ancestral Pueblo Indian, indigenous Aleutian islander, and ancient Egyptian populations. The scans revealed that calcium deposits had narrowed the arteries resulting in a heart disease known as “Atherosclerosis”. The clogged arteries were also observed in Mummies which had a background of consuming only grain-based diet and mainly meat and fish, thereby enabling some Researchers to believe that Heart diseases are an ineradicable part of Human aging.(source)

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