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

11. During Victorian era, Mummies Could be Purchased From Vendors for “Mummy Unwrapping Parties” Where Mummies Were Unwrapped In Front Of The Audience For Fun

Facts About Mummies, Mummy Unwrapping Party
Image source: i.imgur.com

During the Victorian era of 1800’s, Napoleon’s conquest of Egypt threw open the Gates of Egypt’s history for the Europeans. At that time, Mummies were not accorded the respect that they deserved from the Victorian elites and in fact, Mummies could be purchased from street vendors (as shown in picture) to be used as the main event for parties and social gatherings that took place in the 18th century. The elites of the Victorian era would often hold “Mummy Unwrapping Parties”, which, as the name suggests, had the main theme in which a Mummy would be unwrapped in front of a boisterous audience, cheering and applauding at the same time. Many Scientists claimed that, then, the information about how unwrapping would have damaged the Mummy was not known to many. The “Mummy-unwrapping”‘ took place in the 1900’s too. albeit this time around, it was more for a scientific and academic reason.(source)

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12. In 16th and 17th century, Mummies- Often Called as “Mummia”- Were Eaten By The Europeans As Medicines. Know more..

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

In 16th and 17th century, Many Europeans, including priests, royalty and scientists, consumed human bones, blood and fat as medicine for everything from headaches to epilepsy. Mummy, often sold as “mummia” (because Mummies were embalmed with bitumin) was applied to the skin or powdered and mixed into drinks as a treatment for bruising and other ailments. Skull was one common ingredient, taken in powdered form to cure head ailments. Blood was procured as fresh as possible while it was widely believed that rubbing fat on an ache will ease the pain and applying powdered moss up the nose will heal the nosebleed. According to historian Richard Sugg- “the belief may have come from ancients such as Pliny the Elder, who wrote that the bitumen used to embalm mummies offered healing powers”.(source)

13. Traces Of Nicotine And Cocaine Were Found In Egyptian Mummies That Have Led To The Speculation That Ancient Egyptians Traveled To The New World (America) in 1,000 B.C.

Facts About Mummies, Nicotine And Cocaine In Mummies
Image source: www.ancient-origins.net

German scientist Dr Svetla Balabanova, in 1992, while studying mummified remains of Lady Henut Taui, who died 3,000 years ago, was shocked to discover that the mummy contained traces of nicotine and cocaine. The findings were cross-examined, tested over and again with other specimens but the results remained the same. This led to many Scientists and Archaeologists speculate that ancient Egyptians must have traveled to America as early as 1,000 B.C. since Nicotine and Cocaine had not yet been transported to Egypt until the Victorian era. To this day, the extent of ancient Egyptian contact with the Americas remains uncertain.(source)

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14. Ancient Nubian mummies Were Found To Have The Modern Antibiotic Tetracycline In Their Bones. They Got It From Beer

Facts About Mummies, Nubians Drank Beer
Image source: www.wired.com

Chemical Analysis of the bones of African Mummies revealed large doses of tetracycline embedded in the bones. Further analysis revealed that Nubians had been consuming tetracycline on a regular basis. The source was tracked to “Grain”, which upon fermentation would explode with tetracycline. Nubians both ate the fermented grains as gruel and used it to make beer. The analysis were conducted by George Armelagos, a biological anthropologist at Emory University in Atlanta, who had excavated the mummies in 1963 for the sole purpose of examining osteoporosis in the Nubians, who lived between about 350 and 550 A.D. But while looking through a microscope at samples of the ancient bone under ultraviolet light, he saw what looked like tetracycline and conducted further tests.(source)

15. The mummy of Ramesses II (aka Ozymandias) Was Flown To Paris in 1974, And Was Issued a Passport That Listed His Occupation As “King (deceased)”

Facts About Mummies, Ramesses II
Image source: cdn.history.com

Regarded by many historians as Egypt’s most powerful pharaoh, Ramesses II reigned for six decades (c. 1279-1213 B.C.), and was originally buried in the tomb KV7 in the Valley of the Kings, but due to the incessant looting, his tomb kept getting transferred to a holding area while getting re-wrapped over and again. In 1974, archeologists noticed its deteriorating condition and flew it to Paris. Before the journey, Ramesses II was issued an Egyptian passport, which listed his occupation as “King (deceased). During the examination, it was found that fungus had been attacking Ramesses’s mummy and it was subsequently killed. Apart from the fungus examination, analysis revealed that the king had battle wounds, old fractures, arthritis and poor circulation and it was suspected that he might have walked with a hunched back in his old days due to the onset of arthritis. In 1881, Ramesses II’s mummy was discovered in a secret royal cache at Deir el-Bahri, along with those of more than 50 other rulers and nobles.(source)

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