Mummies: Bodies Talk - Summary

When John Franklin, a 60-year-old Englishman, mounted his third expedition to the Arctic (on July 12, 1845), he had two excellent ships (the Terror and Erebus), 129 crew members, and a faulty map.

 When supplies were insufficient, some of the men left the ship, walking to find food. Not only did they endure intense cold and no food, they were incapable of exercising good judgment. How do we know that? The graves of three crew members were discovered at their camp on Beechy Island. Frigid conditions had turned them into mummies.

Mummies have intact soft tissue which can be analyzed. When reports came back on Franklin’s crew, the results were startling. They had severe lead poisoning, caused by their food supplies which had been preserved in lead-soldered tin cans.

What conditions, beyond dry and freezing temperatures, could turn a human body into a mummy? Where else have scientists found such naturally created remains? How do those natural processes differ from manmade mummies, like those created in Egypt during the time of the pharaohs?

In this story about mummies, take a virtual trip to Machu Picchu, and the high Andes, to examine incredibly well-preserved Inca mummies (and the inhospitable areas where they were formed). Travel to European peat bogs to discover Iron-Age mummies and to the Italian Alps to meet Oetzi, the Copper-Age ice man.

Visit western Greenland where active glaciers still create icebergs and frigid conditions produced the most well-preserved mummies ever discovered in North America. Go to Egypt to learn the process of mummy-making and see the most famous mummy of all - King Tut - and his many treasures. And ... with the use of online technology ... go through the process of creating a manmade mummy.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5155stories and lessons created

Original Release: Sep 01, 2006

Updated Last Revision: Nov 04, 2016

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Mummies: Bodies Talk" AwesomeStories.com. Sep 01, 2006. Jul 21, 2018.
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