First Greek Mummy Once Led Privileged Life

From the article:
The first evidence of artificial mummification in ancient Greece lies in a lead coffin at the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, according to a Swiss-Greek research team.

Dating to 300 A.D., when the Romans ruled Greece, the partially mummified remains belong to a middle-aged woman. Her Roman-type marble sarcophagus was unearthed in 1962 during archaeological excavations in the eastern cemetery of Thessaloniki, which was used from the Hellenistic to the Byzantine Periods for burials and other rituals.

Wrapped in bandages and covered with a gold-embroidered purple silk cloth, the woman lay on a wooden pallet.

“Besides the clothes, remnants of soft tissue as well as the individual’s original hairstyle and eyebrows were exceptionally well preserved,” Christina Papageorgopoulou of the University of Zurich and colleagues wrote in a paper to be published in the Journal of Archaeological Science shortly.

Using scanning electron microscopy, X-ray analysis, gas chromatography and mass spectrometry, the researchers discovered the probable means of mummification.

“The embalming technology was quite sophisticated,” said study co-leader Frank Rohli, head of the Swiss Mummy Project. “We found different chemical components, mostly originating from oils. There were also spices. It looks like the embalming technique was partially taken over from the Egyptians.”

Read tghe article here.


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