Mummification

Authored by: Heather Gill-Frerking

The Routledge Companion to Death and Dying

Print publication date:  May  2017
Online publication date:  May  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138852075
eBook ISBN: 9781315723747
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315723747.ch28

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Abstract

A mummy is a human or animal body in which soft tissue, such as skin, muscle, fat, ligaments, or organs, are preserved. There is some debate within the discipline of mummy studies as to whether a skeleton with only hair remaining should be considered a mummy, but many researchers also include those bodies in the definition. Mummies are unique examples of human remains: rather than following the normal processes of decomposition after death, something inhibits decay, or actively contributes to preservation, of a body.

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