The mystery of Lady Dai, one of the world’s most preserved mummies

Despite her quite macabre appearance, Lady Dai is considered to be one of the world’s best preserved mummies. If others tend to crumble at the slightest movement, she is so well-kept that doctors were even able to perform an autopsy more than 2,100 years after her death, probably the most complete medical profile ever compiled on an ancient individual! But not only, as they were able to reconstruct her death, as well as her life, even determining her blood type, Type A. Despite her face looks swollen and deformed, her…

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The eternal sleep of Rosalia Lombardo

Rosalia Lombardo was born on December 13, 1918 in Palermo, in Sicily region in Southern Italy. At the tender age of 2 she died due to a bacteria pneumonia. Her father, official Mario Lombardo, destroyed by pain, decided to contact Dr. Alfredo Salafia, a noted embalmer, to undertake the task of preserving her beloved daughter. Salafia was a great expert in post-mortem conservation, and it seems that he carried out the embalming of little Rosalia free of charge. The little girl was embalmed and was one of the last corpses…

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Ramesses II: the first (and probably the last) mummy to receive a passport!

Ramesses II is often considered the greatest pharaohs of ancient Egypt: he reigned for over 60 years and his achievements were not matched by the pharaohs who preceded or succeeded him. And, even after death, Ramesses II continued to be unique. How do you move a mummy over 3,000 years old from one country to another? In Ramesses’ case, in 1974, his remains were equipped with a valid passport of Egyptian nationality! It all began in 1974, when Egyptologists working for the Egyptian Museum in Cairo noticed that the pharaoh’s…

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“Sokushinbutsu”: the self-mummification ritual and the myth of non-death

Although the Japanese climate is not exactly conducive to mummification, somehow a group of Buddhist monks from the Shingon sect discovered a way to mummify themselves through rigorous ascetic training in the shadow of a particularly sacred peak in the mountainous northern prefecture of Yamagata. If for Christians the death represents the moment of transition towards eternal life, which should be much better than the brief earthly existence, for Buddhists life and death chase each other in an eternal cycle of reincarnation, from which it is possible to go out…

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The Capuchin Crypt in Brno, CZE.

The Capuchins came to Brno in 1604 at the invitation of the Bishop of Olomouc, František of Dietrichstein. For their first monastery, they opted a place in the eastern suburbs of the city, called the Gate of Měnín, and laid the foundation stone in the spring of the same year. The church was dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi and in 1606 it was consecrated by Cardinal Dietrichstein himself. His decoration was supported by the outstanding painter Kosmas from Castelfranco, a priest of the Venetian province, who created not only…

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The Ma’Nene Festival in Indonesia: the mummies of the dead return to visit their loved ones.

As we know, all cultures have their own way of celebrating those who have passed away, but in Indonesia, in the province of Tana Toraja, funeral rites are a little “different” from the usual. The Ma’Nene ritual is the festival of ancestor worship. When a person dies, the body is mummified with natural ingredients and buried in rock tombs. The mummification process allows the preservation of the corpse and allows the family to return to exhume it! The Torajan people proudly display their dead relatives after digging them up and…

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Roter Franz, the Mummy with Hair, Beard and Red Eyebrows

Roter Franz is the mummy of a young man found in the Bourtanger swamp, on the border between Holland and Germany, in 1900. Also known as “Neu Versen Man”, the nickname derives from the color of beard, hair and eyebrows, completely red, coloring due to the presence of acids in the peat bog. The man, who died between 25 and 32 years of age, lived between 220 and 430 AC, when he was killed by a deep cut in the throat, of which the signs remain in the soft mummified…

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Mummies of Cats and Scarabs: New Surprising Discoveries from Ancient Egypt!

Minister of Antiquities Dr. Khaled El-Enany announced some days ago a new discovery made by an Egyptian archaeological mission during excavation work carried out since April until now at the area located on the stony edge of King Userkaf pyramid complex in Saqqara Necropolis. Although it has been known for a long time that for the Egyptians cats were sacred, and they were routinely mummified and even bred for this purpose, to be faced with dozens of mummies of cats, buried inside a tomb dating back to 4500 years ago…

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Nazca, Perù: the macabre Chauchilla Cemetery.

We are in Peru, where, since 1997, law has protected the macabre Chauchilla Cemetery, a Nazca burial ground where mummified corpses were laid to rest until the ninth century. Discovered in the 1920s, the remains and artifacts were spread across the area, picked over by grave robbers. However, the burial ground has been restored to as close to its original state as possible, with the bones, bodies, heads, and artifacts either returned to tombs or showcased in displays. So, prior 1997, it was ravaged mercilessly by Peruvian grave robbers, and…

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Bleikeller: eight naturally mummified bodies in glass coffins are housed in an underground crypt.

When Arp Schnitger, a reputed organ maker who working in Germany in the late 17th century, was assigned a portion of an underground crypt of St Peter’s Cathedral in Bremen to work in, is sure that he didn’t expect to find the mummified remains of not one, but eight residents of the German city! The crypt is located beneath the nave of the cathedral and was originally used to store lead that was used for renovations to the roof and other structures, giving to the chamber its name Bleikeller. It…

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