Health and Life in Ancient Egypt – Mummies in Focus

Aegyptus et Pannonia 6



Call for paper – Aegyptus et Pannonia 6:

Health and Life in Ancient Egypt
Mummies in Focus
Conference 27-30 August 2019, Budapest

The Hungarian Egyptian Friendship Society (HEFS / MEBT) with its partners, the Hungarian Natural History Museum and The Hungarian National Museums’s Semmelweis Medical History Museum, invites all colleagues and specialists to participate in the conference. The conference aims to provide a forum for the discussion of the situation of ancient Egyptian health state mirrored by the mummies.
As it can only be investigated with scientific methods, anthropological, medical, ethnographical, physical knowledge, Egyptological and environmental studies, it will cover a broad range of lectures and posters. The conference addresses the subject in a multidisciplinary way, and by embracing a broad chronological and cultural span, from Predynastic to the Coptic Period.
We invite colleagues of diverse research backgrounds and of differing specialisms. Theoretical questions and comparative approaches to other cultures are invited as well and all other topics which develop our understanding of ancient Egypt in this respect.

Many questions emerged from the examination of the Egyptian mummies curated in the Department of Anthropology of the Hungarian Natural History Museum which gave the idea to organise this conference. We are particularly interested in topics as
  • What new possibilities the technological development provides for the study of health conditions in ancient Egypt
  • How new data can be generated from mummies and what are the pitfalls of investigations   
  • Did aspects of physical symptoms or alterations change over time, and how are they tangible?
  • What are the role and attitudes of museums and excavations to the scientific examination of the mummies?
  • How can changes in lifestyle or economic conditions studied on mummies?
  • What are the benefits and disadvantages to compare the Egyptian mummies to other ethnical population? How valid these results are?
  • How can we find similarity, connection or coincidence between written sources and human remains?  
  • How do texts help to investigate health and physical remains?
  • What new techniques and possibilities are to restore mummies?
  • What mummies can tell about health and way of life of specific individuals in ancient Egypt; or their involvement in particular activities, eating habits?
  • What they can tell about relationships in communities, cultural milieu, about (historical or private) events or their concepts of life/afterlife?
  • What mummies say about the relationship to animals and relations with the environment?
  • What mummies tell about the social status or principal/marginal role of people in society?
  • How can scientific investigations of Egyptian mummies be standardized with regard to scientific rigor and considering ethical aspects?

The conference will be held in Budapest, and the conference language is English.
Participants need to cover their own travel and accommodation expenses.

We ask for abstracts up to 500 words. Please e-mail the abstract to

The publication is envisaged in the Aegyptus et Pannonia series by the end of the year, thus the deadline for full paper submission is the conference itself.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Scientific committee:
Prof.dr. Salima Ikram – American University of Cairo
Prof. dr. Rosalie David – University of Manchester
Prof.dr. Wilfired Rosendahl – Reiss Engelhorn Museum
habil. dr Albert Zink – Eurac Research
dr. Pap Ildikó PhD – Hungarian Natural History Museum
habil. dr Pálfi György – University Szeged, Anthropology Chair
dr. Győry Hedvig PhD – HEFS

For conference fees and other details see bellow or ask by e-mail.

Please forward the call to other colleagues who might be interested in.


regular student family member

Please transfer the participation fee to the account of our financial administrator, Ibisz Bt., indicating the AeP6 conference, the name of the participant (and the paying institution, if the institution pays the participation fee). Erste Bank, BIC-/SWIFt code: GIBAHUHB, and the IBAN: HU56 11600006-00000000-07502259..

  • Date: 2019.08.27. 09:00 AM - 2019.08.30. 05:00 PM
  • Location: Budapest, Magyarország (Map)


Ticket Type
regular student family member



Upcoming Events

Title Date Location
Student regular 27 Aug 2019 Budapest, Magyarország
Regular 27 Aug 2019 Budapest, Magyarország
Regular family member 27 Aug 2019 Budapest, Magyarország
MEBT tagok 27 Aug 2019 Budapest, Magyarország


27th August


registration, lectures and visit to the new exhibiton in the Medical History Museum: Ages and Diseases

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28th August


worshop in the Hungarian Natural History Museum about the Egyptian mummies, presentation of the Nephthys Project

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29th August


lectures and visit to The Continental Automotive Hungary Ltd where the industrial CTs are made for the Museum

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30th August


visit to the Egyptian Exhibition of the Museum of Fine Arts and facultative programs

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„Make them visible” – exploring children in ancient Egyptian sources and their bioarchaeological context
Orsolya László PhD, Anthropologist
Hungarian National Museum, Archaeological Heritage Directorate -

The study of children and childhood can provide a very important basis to a complex analysis of human populations but regarding ancient Egyptian societies they have just come into focus recently.
We can find some information of the social aspects of childhood from iconographic and written sources, but few studies discuss the funerary customs related to them or specifically focus on the bioarchaeological context which they are coming from. We attempt to give a general insight into the most recent results in the study of childhood in ancient Egypt and to share our archaeological and osteological findings which our team, the Hungarian Archaeological Mission collected during the last 20 years in the area of the noble tombs in TT 184 and the southern slope of el-Khokha, Thebes. The summary of the most recent results can help to establish new tracks for the research of this special segment of a human society.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in paleopathology: experience from PASTLIVES project and Egyptian mummies collection from the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb
Čavka M, Novak M, Jankovic I, Uranic I, Kalafatic H

The Egyptian Collection of the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb, Croatia includes 19 mummified specimens (5 complete mummies, 3 human heads, and several mummified human body parts, as well as mummified animals). Between 2008 and 2013, X-rays, CT and MRI scanning has been applied to the sample, resulting in scientific publications and conference presentations. In the process, several obstacles, such as dehydrated state of the samples, were encountered. For those, the use of Ultra Short Echo (UTE) has been particularly useful.
Within the research project titled "Reconstructing prehistoric (Neolithic to Bronze Age) lifestyles on the territory of Croatia (PASTLIVES)", skeletal remains of over 400 individuals, dating from the early Neolithic to the late Bronze Age, have been analyzed using the multidisciplinary approach. Here we present the overview of results of MRI analyses of mummified remains, as well as new results of the use of this technique on cremated remains from the Late Bronze Age and evaluate the usefulness of this technique in paleoradiology.

Precious Decorated Bodies for Eternal Life: Two Late Roman Period Portrait Mummies
With a Particular Collection History Analysed by Computed Tomography

Stephanie Zesch1, Manuela Gander2, Marc Loth2, Stephanie Panzer3,4, Wilfried Rosendahl1,5, Saskia Wetzig2, Albert Zink6, Stephan Koja2
1 German Mummy Project, Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen, Mannheim, Germany,
2 Skulpturensammlung bis 1800, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Dresden, Germany
3 Department of Radiology, Trauma Center Murnau, Murnau, Germany
4 Institute of Biomechanics, Trauma Center Murnau and Paracelsus Medical University Salzburg, Murnau, Germany
5 Curt-Engelhorn-Zentrum Archäometrie gGmbH, Mannheim, Germany
6 Institute for Mummy Studies, Eurac Research, Bolzano, Italy

Two Roman Period portrait mummies from the late 3rd until the middle of the 4th century AD were recently analyzed through a scientific cooperation. The high-quality workmanship of their partially gilded mummy decoration, including a mummy portrait that was painted on a linen shroud, identifies the deceased as people of upper social status.
As far as the authors know, these are the earliest Egyptian mummies to have come to Europe that are still preserved with their original wrappings. In 1615, they were excavated by the Italian explorer Pietro della Valle in Saqqara. In 1728, they became part of the collection of the Elector of Saxony and King of Poland August II (byname the Strong). Nowadays, they are kept in the Skulpturensammlung of Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden in Germany.
In 2016, a computed tomography (CT) analysis was conducted for the first time in order to determine the age at death and sex, to identify possible pathologies as well as to estimate the state of preservation, mummification, and wrapping technique.
CT analysis revealed a male between 25 and 30 years and a female between 30 and 40 years. Pathological findings include, amongst others, a congenital dental anomaly of the male and evidence of osteoarthritis in the left knee joint of the female. Both mummies show well-preserved skulls and lower limbs. The skeletal elements of the torso and the arms were disarticulated and displaced during post mortem manipulations. Remnants of the brain and the inner organs are not preserved. Hyperdense fragments inside the torso of the male seem to be a conglomerate of bones, sediments and maybe filling material. Numerous perforated circular objects about 1 cm in size inside the female’s torso could be beads of a necklace. A specification of several dense metal foreign objects in both mummies has not been possible so far. Further on, wooden boards were observed on which the bodies had been placed before the wrapping was conducted.
The CT investigation revealed detailed knowledge about the health of the deceased during life and about their state of preservation and mummification, even though not all questions are able to be entirely answered so far. The mummies are rare examples of the final phase of the mummy tradition in Egypt. They are also exceptional because their discovery site and the circumstances of discovery are documented, even though the mummies were excavated in the very early days of archaeology and mummy trade in Egypt.

Unexpected intentional burnt human remains in Kom Ombo temple, Egypt. Anthropological aspect.
Afaf Wahba,
MSA, Egypt

This talk presents preliminary anthropological research from the Ground Water Lowering Project (GWLP) in Kom Ombo (2018) carried out by CDM Smith and funded by USAID. The archaeological monitoring of the GWLP consisted of salvage excavation and recording of archaeological material encountered during the engineering project, and within tight time constraints. Thence, the osteological analysis aims to investigate the skeletal remains which were discovered from the excavation. The site of Kom Ombo is located on the East bank of the Nile, 45 km. north of Aswan in Southern Egypt. The site is known mostly by the Ptolemaic /Roman temple but includes settlement (and cemeteries) from other periods.
The archaeological monitoring revealed skeletal human remains of two different periods and in two different places within the site. The earliest group excavated dates to the Late Old Kingdom / First Intermediate Period and consisted of six articulated burials. These were part of a bigger cemetery as more burials can be seen in the section but were not excavated due to the time challenge. These burials include non-elite superstructure burials with shallow vaults on top of each other in addition to more elaborate understructure individual vaulted tombs. They both represent funerary structures and occupation before the construction of the Ptolemaic temple.
The second group dates to the Ptolemaic period and is represented by numerous inhumations of burnt bones, which were unexpected. By the end of 2018 season, 25 individuals (till now) had been identified from an isolated structure (Test Pit 32) to the east of the Temple tell. Two chambers were excavated, and each contained the remains of several individuals, all of whom showed signs of in situ burning. The discovery of these remains is the start point for future research about these unexpected and unique burnt skeletal materials.

Blessing of curse the consumption of red wine and alcoholic drinks in ancient Egypt
Anna Blázovics1, Balázs Zsigmond Horváth2, Hedvig Győry3
1Department of Pharmacognosy, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary
2Pogány Frigyes Vocational Secondary School, Budapest, Hungary
3Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, Hungary

Although the Egyptians did not suffer from water shortages in the Nile Valley, they had scarce drinking water due to diseases caused by floods and Schistosoma haematobium and Schistosoma mansoni digenetic trematode in the water, so they were drinking alcohol even when they were small children. Wine, beer and alcoholic fruit juices protected the people from infections. Wine was also found in many healing recipes. The different types of beers and wines were also essential in various religious rituals. However, excessive alcohol consumption led in many cases to drunkenness, which on certain occasions, was considered particularly desirable for ritualistic reasons, such as on Hathor's drunkenness holiday.
However, liver and bowel diseases caused by alcohol could shorten the life expectancy of the ancient Egyptians. Polyphenols of red wine (flavonoids and stilbenes) as well as Mediterranean diet did not protect people from the harmful effects of alcohol. The presentation reveals the ambivalent role of resveratrol in the development of liver disease in the light of the latest research results.

Artistic Solution or usful prosthesis
Balázs Zsigmond Horváth1, Hedvig Győry2, Anna Blázovics3
1Pogány Frigyes Vocational Secondary School, Budapest, Hungary
2Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, Hungary
3Department of Pharmacognosy, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary

In our lecture we would like to analyse based on literary texts, how could successful wound healing and surgical methods be conducted in ancient Egypt. For the people of today, the successful results of ancient wound care and the carrying out of truncation operations are amazing. In addition to anatomical knowledge and wound management techniques, functional prostheses are even more impressive. In recent years, X-ray and CT examinations provide reliable answers to many questions. The medical procedures and recipes recorded on papyrus suggest that although they were not aware of the concept of antibiotics in antiquity, they were used. Medicinal plants have antibacterial, antifungal effects to relieve pain and make the healing process safe.

Hypocephali and Gates
John Gee, Brigham Young University,

The instructions for making a hypocephalus in the final rubric of Book of the Dead 162 say that the deceased can use it to pass through the gates. To date this claim has not been explored. In this paper I will demonstrate how phrases found on hypocephali match up with identical phrases on the walls of temple gateways and how both make allusions to the creation text from Esna. I will then explore what this intertextuality might mean for understanding the hypocephali that were placed at the head of Egyptian mummies.

An unusual ancient Egyptian mummy skull within a Roman period stucco head
Andreas G. Nerlich1, Stephanie Panzer3, Philipp Schneider2, Christine Lehn4, Oliver Peschel4, Christian Hamann5, Roxane Bicker6, Sylvia Schoske6
1Institut für Pathologie and
2Klinik für Radiologische Diagnostik, Klinikum München-Bogenhausen;
3Abteilung Radiologie, Unfallklinik Murnau und PMU Salzburg;
4Institut für Rechtsmedizin der LMU München;
5Leibniz-Labor für Altersbestimmung und Isotopenforschung, CAU Kiel;
6Staatliches Museum Ägyptischer Kunst, München, Germany;

The Bavarian State Collection for Egyptian Art houses an unusual stucco head that has roughly been dated into the Roman Imperial Period. Since its exact provenance is unknown, we further examined the object. A CT scan revealed inside the stucco cover an adult human skull consisting of a complete calvarium including face bones and the maxilla, but a complete absence of the mandible and any cervical bones. The skull is covered by a brown textile surface, eye balls are formed of fabric and the ethmoidal plate is defect showing the typical features of ancient Egyptian embalming. Furthermore, the skull reveals male facial traits, open cranial sutures and minimal tooth wear suggesting young adult age of 20 – 30 years. Considerably after death the maxilla must have been separated from the mandible under dry conditions since several tooth crowns of the right maxilla are broken and sheared off laterally. Through the actual neck opening we obtained small tissue samples from the skull base, the adjacent linen cover and additionally more loosely woven linen between the “inner” linen and the stucco surface which were all used for radiocarbon dating. This indicates an age of the human material between 200 and 40 BC, of the inner linen between 45 BC and 55 AD and the outer linen between 130 and 240 AD. Accordingly, the skull must have been prepared around 45 – 40 BC; the mummy has then been “reused” c. 170 to 280 years later. Stable isotope analyses on the skull bone further indicate a balanced diet well compatible with Egyptian climate influence, but without evidence for marine components, suggesting advanced social level of the individual. Although we have no evidence for any historically identified individual we believe that this must have been a person of Ptolemaic Egypt (dying around 40 BC) that was “important” enough to have his skull preserved for long time by the stucco cover.

Conserving Egyptian Mummies: A Difficult Relationship Between Past and Present
CINZIA OLIVA – Free lance Textile Conservator

The international debate about the exhibition of human remains had aroused ethical conflicts and issues about the opportunity of having dead bodies on display in our museums, even in Italy where the display of bodies (or parts of them) is strongly related to the catholic culture (i.e. relics).
Most of these problems came from the legacies of colonialism and imperialism, but due to an increasing pressure from the media and the public, we are obliged to find a satisfactory balance between the respect that an artefact deserves and allowing the visitor to get a full understanding of it. As conservators, we all agreed to adhere to a general code during the handling, storage and display of human remains. This implies special attention, respect and care to the artefacts and I would like to highlight the emotional and distressing emotions that can be present when carrying out conservation work in the presence of the dead.
Therefore, as these mummies originate from ancient Egypt, it is very difficult to avoid these issues, as the artefacts are still the most fascinating from that world and we, as conservators, are faced with the challenge of finding a way to display them with the greatest of respect. Any treatments that involve human remains and their accessories (wrappings, cartonnage, shrouds, bead nets, etc) create a sort of filter, which can conceal, reveal or highlight different aspects of the objects, and the conservator is always responsible and emotionally involved in this decision.
Furthermore, due to their history, most of the Egyptian mummies underwent some sort of damage and pillaging, and consequent conservation treatments, which revealed to be inadequate over time. Today, we face many problems: do we remove or conserve these treatments? At the same time, we must decide whether to change the original displays according to the new procedures of displaying textiles connected to human remains.
The topic will be illustrated through examples from different museums in Italy and the many methods I used to conserve them, related to the cultural and anthropological context in which they arrived and are nowadays displayed.
There are several pillaged mummies (from the Museo Egizio in Turin and from the Archaeological Museum in Venice), mummies, partially or totally unwrapped, (Museo Civico of Milan and Rovigo), mummies which underwent invasive past treatments (a child mummy from Modena). There are also two artefacts from the Archaeological Museum in Naples: one fake mummy, created in the early 1800’s, and two pairs of feet from original Egyptian mummies, wrapped in a fragment of a painted shroud and exhibited inside a typical Neapolitan glass-bell.
All the artefacts exhibited signs of damage due to atmospheric pollution, mechanical stress and excessive light, which caused physical and chemical breakdown in the fibres or the entire structure. They were all cleaned and consolidated and when necessary, a proper mechanical support was made, in order to sustain and conserve the mummy.

“Starting from the back: studies, diagnostics and conservation treatments of Usai’s mummy face down”.
CINZIA OLIVA – Free lance Textile Conservator- mail:
DANIELA PICCHI – Curator of the Egyptian collection, Museo Civico Archeologico – Bologna

The mummy of Usai, son of Nekhet and Heriubastet (MCABo EG 1975) belongs to the Egyptian collection of the Archaeological Museum in Bologna. This mummy and two related coffins arrived in Bologna in 1861, via the testamentary bequest of the Bolognese painter Pelagio Palagi (1775-1860), who collected 3,109 Egyptian antiquities during his life. In 1831 he bought this funerary set from Giuseppe Nizzoli, the Austrian chancellor in Egypt from 1818 to 1828. The mummy and coffins are listed in a catalogue published by Nizzoli in Alexandria of Egypt in 1827, in which the author highlights the excellent state of conservation of the mummy as well as the amazing iconography of the coffins.
Recently, it became necessary to clean and consolidate Usai’s wrappings. The conservation project started in 2017, after a sudden worsening of its general condition. The results of the preliminary diagnostic investigations, including radiocarbon dating and 3D Computed Tomography, confirmed the mummy’s sex as male, dated the mummy between 821-740 BC, the same period of the coffins, and provided useful information on previous treatments.
The mummy was in poor condition, partly due to the natural ageing of the bandages and mainly to the conservation treatment performed in the second half of the last century. The superior external shroud was covered with a thick layer of adhesive, which altered the aspect of the linen, making it brittle and very fragile. Because of this, it was very difficult to pursue the study of textiles and proceed with the planned diagnostic test.
We then decided to start the work on the back of the mummy, where the textiles and organic remains were free of any consolidation and contaminants. We then proceeded with the “turning upside down” of the mummy. We made a kind of frame and adapted an inflatable surgical mattress (usually used for the handling of poli-traumatized patients) to our needs. The “turning” was easy, safe and economical, with no excess materials for disposal, in perfect accordance with modern standards in conservation sustainability.
Working from the back allowed a full view of a different state of conservation of bandages and organic remains, we have been able to study the textiles (with attention to technical data like fibres, dyes, weaving, fringe, stitches and seams) and proceed with the sampling for diagnostic (radio-carbon dating, sampling of resin and fibres).
The conservation treatment proceeded with the cleaning operation and the consolidation of the back of the mummy, with the insertion of several shaped padded cushions inside the body in order to fill the gap which remained as a result of the lost bandages and loss of organic remains.
To consolidate the mummy we chose to wrap it completely in a nylon net, dyed in the proper colour, sewn on itself .
We then turned the mummy on the front and completed the operations on that side, with special care to head’s bandages.
Special attention was paid to the mechanical support to allow for a safe and correct handling of the mummy.

The Curious Case of Nefersobek
Gabriela Jungová
Pavel Onderka
National Museum – Náprstek Museum of Asian, African and American Cultures
Prague, Czech Republic

The National Museum – Náprstek Museum of Asian, African and American cultures in Prague runs a project mapping all ancient Egyptian mummified material and associated objects that are kept in public collections of the Czech Republic. Detailed analysis of CT scans allowed for the revision of existing data and assessment of new information. Particularly interesting conclusions were made in the case of a mummy held in the collections of the State Castle Buchlov in the southeast of the country. The mummy is associated with a female-gendered bulky coffin that names its owner as Nefersobek. In the 1970s, on the other hand, the mummy was diagnosed as male. Besides resolving this discrepancy, the research project brought to light new information on the health condition of this individual that was far from good, and peculiar specifics in the mummification process, above all breast paddings. The study of the coffin also revealed previously unknown details of family relations, which led to further conclusions on the place of life and death of the deceased.

The Mummification Bandage Jns derivations in Ancient Egyptian Language
Mohsen El-Toukhy
Lecturer of Egyptology/Ancient Egyptian Language at Faculty of Archaeology - South Valley University, Luxor

The word jns is related to the red color in general, jnsj which means the “Red Linen/ Cloth” is derived from it, expressing a material/ garment in the texts, it gives the meanings of red linen, red cloth, red garment/ fabric, and red bandage / mummifying bandage, also it happened that it was used in different positions related to divine names/ titles (such as: nb-jns, nbt-jns, jmj-jns.f, and jnsjtj) each of them is related to a specific God (Osiris, Re, Hathor, Mut, Sekhmet, Bastet, and Sekhmet-Bastet-Rat ); also there is a feast related to jnsj (HAb-jns). Also the word jnst which is a plant which could be with red flower could be derived from jns. This paper is dealing with the word jns, its different writings in different positions, each gives a special meaning, and it is importance to be participated in several divine names in Ancient Egypt until the end of the late period and before the Greco-Roman period.
Key words: jns / jnst / Jnsyt/ Jnsj / Red linen / Nb-jns / Nbt-jns / Jmj-jns.f / Jnsjtj

Tooth anomalies in ancient Egyptian dentitions
Dr Roger Forshaw, Honorary Lecturer,
KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptolog, The University of Manchester

Teeth are the hardest and most chemically stable tissues in the body and are highly resistant to decay in most burial environments. An examination of teeth and their supporting structures forms an important part of any bioarchaeological and palaeopathological investigations into the human remains of past populations. In addition, they are a valuable resource for the study of the processes of dental development.
Dental anomalies or tooth irregularities are caused by complex interactions between genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors during the process of dental development. They vary in their severity and display a myriad of expressions, including microdontia, changes in dental morphology and ectopias. There are incidences of them in antiquity just as there are today, and this presentation aims to highlight some of the more interesting examples of these conditions.
Defects of the crown surface are very commonly seen in archaeological dentitions and are almost entirely related to enamel hypoplasia, which can be described as a defect in the structure of the enamel that disrupts the normal contour of the crown surface and is visible macroscopically as discrete pitting or horizontal furrows. Linear enamel hypoplasia is a common finding within this category with numerous ancient teeth displaying this abnormality.
Not as common in the archaeological dental record are instances of gemination and fusion, developmental anomalies of tooth shape. Gemination is recognised as an unsuccessful attempt by a single tooth germ to divide by invagination during the proliferative stage of dental development while fusion is a union of two separate tooth germs at some stage in their development. Khnum-nakht, a four-thousand-year-old ancient Egyptian mummy, housed in the Manchester Museum, and recently examined by the author, displays the extremely rare condition of fusion of the left maxillary incisor and gemination of the right maxillary incisor. Today bilateral presentation of these conditions is estimated at 0.02% - 0.05% for both primary and permanent dentitions and this instance of gemination and fusion within the same individual is the earliest known recorded example of such an anomaly.
Estimates for the incidence of supernumerary teeth in present-day populations varies from 0.1% to 3.5%, but the prevalence in past populations as with all dental anomalies is unknown. In present populations most supernumerary teeth are documented in the anterior and molar regions of the maxilla and are considered to be the result of horizontal proliferation or hyperactivity of the dental lamina. Examples of supernumary teeth in archaeological samples are rare, but a four-thousand-year-old Nubian mesiodens and a rare 4th mandibular molar supernumary teeth dating to approximately 2500 BC and suggested to be the earliest known recorded example, are cases that will be considered.

A peculiar nose-prothesis in the Semmelweis Medical History Museum (poster)
Antal Sklánitz2, Enikő Szvák3,4, Krisztina Scheffer1
1 Semmelweis Medical History Museum
2 Continental Automotive Hungary Ltd, Budapest, Hungary
3 Hungarian Natural History Museum, Department of Anthropology, Budapest, Hungary
4 University of Szeged, Ph.D. School in Biology /Humanbiology-Antropology, Szeged, Hungary

A leper from Egypt (poster)
Antal Sklánitz2, Enikő Szvák3,4, Krisztina Scheffer1
1 Semmelweis Medical History Museum
2 Continental Automotive Hungary Ltd, Budapest, Hungary
3 Hungarian Natural History Museum, Department of Anthropology, Budapest, Hungary
4 University of Szeged, Ph.D. School in Biology /Humanbiology-Antropology, Szeged, Hungary

Sculpting craniofacial reconstructions of two Egyptian mummies from Ahmim site from the 1st millennium B.C.
Ágnes Kustár1, András Balikó2, Enikő Szvák3
1Department of Anthropology, Hungarian Natural History Museum, Ludovika tér 2,
1083 Budapest, Hungary.
2 Fény u. 3, 2000 Szentendre, Hungary.
3 University of Szeged, Ph.D. School in Biology, Humanbiology-Antropology, Ph.D.
student, Közép fasor 52, 6726 Szeged, Hungary.

Craniofacial reconstruction aims at the revival of has-been persons. The aim of our study was to create the sculpting craniofacial reconstruction of two Egyptian mummies held in the Museum of Fine Arts (Budapest) and in the Calvinist Collection of Pápa, based on the copy of the skull in order to reveal their true features. Both original Egyptian sarcophagus and mummy was donated for the ancient institutions in the 19th Century. The coffins’s iconography were considered to be unique in Hungary and they are even true rarity all over the world. The coffins of Hori and Hortesnaht were excavated from the necropolis of Ahmim, from the Ptolemaic period.
First we made an exact replica of the original skulls to carry out craniofacial reconstruction on that. To best preserve the original condition of the mummies, we applied the rapid prototyping (RP) technology that is adequately accurate and does not harm any mummified remains. A CT scan was made of the heads at the Semmelweis University (Budapest) and at the International Medical Centre (Győr) then the plastic copy was created by selective laser sintering (SLS) based on the virtual 3D skull reconstructed from the digital data. Craniofacial reconstruction was carried out by the traditional sculptinganatomical method, based on scientific methodological guidelines. During the process, soft tissues of the face were reconstructed following the formal characteristics of the bones so that they would loyally represent the true facial features. The end result facial reconstructions show us the authentic features of a tiny and gracile young woman and a small but sturdy middle age man resting since 3.000 years in the coffins.
Key words – computer tomography, 3D reconstruction, rapid prototyping, sculpting
craniofacial reconstruction, Egyptian mummies.

Nephthys Project
The elemental analysis of the Gamhud mummy artifacts: bone fragments and textiles
Zsófi Sajtos1, Anett Nyíri1, Enikő Szvák2,3,4, Edina Baranyai1
1 Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Inorganic and Analitycal Chemistry, Atomic Spectroscopy Partner Laboratory, University of Debrecen, Egyetem square 1. H-4032, Debrecen, Hungary
2Ph.D. School in Biology /Humanbiology-Antropology, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary
3Department of Biological Anthropology, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary
4Department of Anthropology, Hungarian Natural History Museum, Budapest, Hungary

In this study we considered the elemental analysis of bone remaining received from the Hungarian Natural History Museum by a destructive ICP-OES (inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy) technique as well as preliminary experiments were carried out by a non-destructive FTIR (fourier transform infrared spectroscopy) method on textile and bandage samples. All of them are part of the burial remains of Gamhud, Egypt.
In order to optimize the sample pre-treatment and ICP-OES analysis human teeth were applied. In the bone samples Ca and P were present in the highest concentration, as expected, except for vertebras in which the Na concentration was found to be above the P. Among microelements, the level of Zn was remarkably higher than the others which together with the high Fe and Mn concentration can indicate carnivore eating habits. The CDA (canonical discriminant analysis) evaluation of the elemental analytical results show differences between the bone types both for macro- and microelements. No significant difference occurred regarding the bones of female and male origin.
High Pb concentration was detected in a few samples which might originate from occupational affection or indicate slight poisoning. The elevated Al concentration measured in the samples most probably come from the contamination of the bones after the burial.
FTIR in ATR mode was applied to conduct preliminary experiments on the received textile and bandage samples. The main aim was to determine if bitumen was present thus standard bitumen was used for comparison. Similarity in the FTIR spectra of the standard and real samples indicate the presence of bitumen but further measurements are necessary to confirm this finding as well as to identify other materials used for artificial mummification.
Results of present study can be used as one component for the wide range of analysis carried out on the Gamhud samples.
Acknowledgement: The research was supported by the EU and co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the project GINOP-2.3.2-15-2016-00008. We would like to highly acknowledge Agilent Technologies Inc. (Novo-Lab Ltd.) for providing ICP-OES and FTIR instruments for the elemental analysis.

Spine pathology of the Ancient Egyptian Mummies – preliminary results and scientific significance
Snježana Schuster1, Antal Sklánitz2, Enikő Szvák3,4, Ildikó Szikossy3, Ildikó Pap3
1 University of Applied Health Sciences, Department of Physiotherapy, Zagreb, Croatia
Central Quality Laboratory,
2 Continental Automotive Hungary Ltd, Budapest, Hungary
3 Hungarian Natural History Museum, Department of Anthropology, Budapest, Hungary
4 University of Szeged, Ph.D. School in Biology /Humanbiology-Antropology, Szeged, Hungary

Introduction.This research is focused on spine pathology and the influence on everyday activities or lifestyle. Etiology of pathological changes on the vertebral surfaces such as Schmorl’s nodes is still unclear. Schmorl’s nodes have been associated with mechanical injuries, genetic inheritance and traumas. A number of theories which are addressing their pathogenesis have been suggested, but up to now, no consensus exists.
Goal. Research of pathological changes on Ancient Egyptian Mummies spine - Schmorl's nodes - in order to define the type of Schmorl's nodes and their influence on a possible connection on everyday activities or lifestyle.
Methodology. In the period 3/2017 - 4/2018 an anthropological and statistical analysis of osteology material (human spine) have been conducted in the Department of Anthropology of the Hungarian Natural History Museum in Budapest on samples from Gamhud site - Ptolemaic Period (5-4 century), in Northern Middle Egypt. Total of 173 vertebrae (16 mummies: 2 adult male, 2 mature male, 1 adult/mature; 5 adult female and 4 mature female; 2 not determined) were examined and analyzed. Visual and microscopic method of determining the typology of Schmorl’s nodes was applied, whereby Schmorl’s node was divided into four types - A, B, C and D. Digital Microscope Mirazoom X 9 and software support were used. The comparative anthropological analysis was used with Digital Microscope Keyence VHX – 5000 Triple R in the Central Quality Lab - Continental Hungary.
Results. Analysis and comparison showed the presence of 36 cervical, 94 thoracic and 43 lumbar vertebrae. 3 types of Schmorl’s nodes A, B D were conducted on the vertebrae. Most frequent was Type A (cervical vertebra n=1, female; thoracic vertebra n= 4, female; n= 2, male; lumbar vertebra n= 2) and Type B Schmorl’s node. Those two types of Schmorl’s node are associated with non- developed type hernia, pointing not too strong mechanical loads of vertebrae through without any hard physical labor, the possible sudden movement under load, rotations of body and wearing the heavy equipment. Results did not show Schmorl's node at the female lumbar vertebrae.
Conclusion. The most incidence type of Schmorl node was type A on 16 mummies samples from Gamhud site. These results suggest a healthy spine that did not have a lot of loads.
Determination of typology of Schmorl’s node as a new methodology allows identifying ways and quality of life of individuals and can be a significant factor in identifying mechanically induced pathology vertebrae. Our observations, and preliminary results, a point at those new methodologies in the analysis of pathological changes of the vertebrae samples of the Ancient Egyptian Mummies, can help in the understanding of spine health status and predicting potential pathological changes which could be significant for future scientific evidence.
Key words: human spine pathology, Ancient Egyptian Mummies, methodology

The Sicily Mummy Project. Advances in the study of the Sicily mummies
Dario Piombino-Mascali (1), Karl Reinhard (2) Stephanie Panzer (3) Albert Zink (4)
Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania
School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, USA
Department of Radiology, Trauma Center Murnau, Murnau, Germany
Institute for Mummy Studies, Eurac, Bolzano, Italy

The mummified heritage of Sicily, studied since 2007, has yielded a significant amount of bioarchaeological information. Therefore, twelve years after the beginning of the Sicily Mummy Project, we wish to present an overview of the main findings, as well as illustrate the outcomes of the first Mummy Studies Field School, organized since 2016 in the medieval city of Santa Lucia del Mela. Ethical aspects in the investigation of these catacomb mummies and future activities are also discussed.
Keywords: paleopathology, mummy studies, Sicily

The Sapieha family: an investigation of mummified remains in the Church of Saint Michael, Vilnius, Lithuania
Dario Piombino-Mascali, Rimantas Jankauskas, Justina Kozakaitė
Faculty of Medicine, Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania

In the spring of 2017, the authors of this paper were granted the opportunity to inspect a subterranean chamber located in the Church of Saint Michael, one of the many architectural masterpieces of Vilnius, Lithuania. This building, which shows Renaissance and Baroque elements, was originally founded in the late 16th century, and was completed by the early 17th century. It was commissioned by Lew Sapieha, a prominent figure of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. A rich and powerful magnate, he was known for his wisdom as a lawyer and military commander, he was one of the greatest leaders at the times of the Duchy’s highest cultural flourishing. Upon inspection, the crypt revealed to contain 21 coffins, three of which turned out to be empty. In total, a minimum number of 18 individuals was observed, with some coffins containing more than one individual. Two of the subjects belonged to children, and the remainder pertained to adults. Twelve of the cases were completely mummified, whereas three of them were partially preserved and another three were completely skeletonized. Our preliminary survey revealed that these are most likely spontaneous mummies, as evisceration was only evident on two individuals. Both sexes were represented, as well as two social categories including the nobility and the clergy. Interestingly, the main coffin, which belonged to Lew Sapieha himself, contained the remains of a vigorous, robust male. His older age at death was consistent with historic records, according to which the aristocrat died aged 76. In addition to members of this important family, the church revealed another crypt nearby. There, the remains of Dorota Siedlczyńska, a nun that was killed by the Cossacks in 1655, were also inspected and showed evidence of perimortem trauma. Within the framework of the Lithuanian Mummy Project, these important remains will be carefully studied anthropologically, radiologically and genetically, combining historic sources to biological and medical details.

Zoltán Arányi, the most famous mumified Hungarian boy
Krisztina Scheffer, Semmelweis Medical History Museum

Lajos Arányi (1812-1887) was a pathology profesor at the Medical University in Budapest. His youngest, 6-years old son died in diphtheria in 1862. The father loved him so much that he embalmed the dead body with a special method he developed. The mummification of Miklós Wesselényi was also his work. During the next 25 years he worked with his son on his desk. The small Zolika arrived in 1969 to the Semmelweis Medical History Museum. The mummy was put on display only twice: in 1925 and 2015.


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