In a special issue, The Anatomical Record ventures into the world of human mummified remains. In 26 articles, the anatomy of mummies is exquisitely detailed through cutting edge examination, while they are put in historical, archeological, and cultural context. Investigators even take on the thorny issue of ethics as it applies to human remains in general and to the specific case of mummy research.
The eyes and tools of the 21st century meet the world of the past and allow one to think of mummies as more than just museum displays shrouded in mystery and fascination. "This remarkable collection of studies utilizes the most advanced knowledge and tools of biomedicine to literally 'unwrap' many of the secrets held within," said Dr. Jeffrey Laitman, Associate Editor of the journal and Past-President of the American Association of Anatomists.
Studies in the issue explore mummies literally from the nose to the toes and all regions in between, noted Dr. Kurt Albertine, Editor-in-Chief. "They reveal fascinating stories of how these ancestors lived and the diseases that they may have suffered from," he said. "From my perspective, the eye-opening pièce de résistance is insights into an individual's life and culture-of-the-time when the individual died and was mummified. This perspective is provided by a number of the papers."