Entertaining mummies: embalming for the sideshow

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This presentations examines a group of five mummies that were not prepared for the journey to the afterlife but rather preserved and exhibited for commercial enterprise, the sideshow. The study originally comprised five episodes of a forty episode series, «The Mummy Road Show» broadcast on the National Geographic Channel in the United States and internationally. A brief history of the sideshow will be presented to demonstrate the mummies’ roles in the development of that unique segment of the entertainment industry. The method of embalming will be discussed from both its historical context and ability to preserve internal organs. The use of conventional radiography, computed tomography and videoendoscopy to examine the skeletons and well preserved internal organs will be considered in an attempt to substantiate or refute the stories associated with each mummy. In addition, an autopsy conducted on one of the mummies will be correlated to the imaging studies.

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Conlogue, G., Beckett, R., Bravo, A., Taylor, J., Horne, R. ., Wade, R., Cartmell, L., Schmiedl, U. P., Jones, J., Stanley, G., Haskell, N. H. ., Aufderheide, A., Engel, L., Smith, M. O. ., Cambell, A., Bucher, A., & Walbaum, S. (2005). Entertaining mummies: embalming for the sideshow. Journal of Biological Research - Bollettino Della Società Italiana Di Biologia Sperimentale, 80(1). https://doi.org/10.4081/jbr.2005.10215