Egyptologists translate the oldest-known mummification handbook



Enlarge (credit score: College of Copenhagen)
Egyptologists have lately translated the oldest-known mummification handbook. Translating it required fixing a literal puzzle; the medical textual content that features the handbook is at the moment in items, with half of what stays within the Louvre Museum in France and half on the College of Copenhagen in Denmark. Just a few sections are utterly lacking, however what’s left is a treatise on medicinal herbs and pores and skin illnesses, particularly those that trigger swelling. Surprisingly, one part of that textual content features a brief handbook on embalming.
For the textual content’s historic viewers, that mixture might need made sense. The handbook contains recipes for resins and unguents used to dry and protect the physique after dying, together with explanations for a way and when to make use of bandages of various shapes and supplies. These recipes in all probability used a number of the similar components as ointments for residing pores and skin, as a result of vegetation with antimicrobial compounds would have been helpful for stopping each an infection and decay.
New Kingdom embalming: Extra difficult than it was
The Papyrus Louvre-Carlsberg, as the traditional medical textual content is now known as, is the oldest mummification handbook identified to date, and it’s certainly one of simply three that Egyptologists have ever discovered. Based mostly on the type of the characters used to put in writing the textual content, it in all probability dates to about 1450 BCE, which makes it greater than 1,000 years older than the opposite two identified mummification texts. However the embalming compounds it describes are remarkably just like those embalmers used 2,000 years earlier in pre-Dynastic Egypt: a combination of plant oil, an fragrant plant extract, a gum or sugar, and heated conifer resin.Learn 7 remaining paragraphs | Feedback



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