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Subject: Mummy


From: Brigid Sullivan <Brigid_Sullivan>
Date: Monday, January 8, 2001
Zubair Ahmed Madani <zubairam [at] inet__com__pk> writes

>Department of Archaeology and Museums in Pakistan has recently
>discovered a mummy from Kharan area near Iranian frontiers.  As per
>initial estimates, it is dated back to 550 to 600 BC.

Histological,forensic and instrumental analysis undertaken in the
mid 1980's to identify black sticky exudate on a naturally
desiccated ca. 600 or 700 hundred-year-old mummy from the American
southwest revealed that the dark sticky film was composed of mono-
and dicarboxylic fatty acids from long bones and multiple joints.
The dark color may have been a result of the presence of oleic acid,
normally a red to yellow oily liquid, which darkens on exposure to
air. This mummy did stain textiles wrappings as well. Perhaps the
mechanism of deterioration is similar.

Findings from this investigation were published in

    M. Brigid Sullivan and Karl Schram.
    "Investigation of exudate formation of prehistoric mummified
    remains from the American Southwest"
    Recent Advances in the Conservation and Analysis of Artifacts
    Jubilee Conservation Conference
    University of London, Institute of Archaeology,1987.

I would be happy to send you a copy if you would like.

Brigid Sullivan
Chief Conservator, Collections Conservation Branch
National Park Service
Northeast Cultural Resource Center
400 Foot of John Street
Lowell, Massachusetts 01852-1195

                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:37
                 Distributed: Tuesday, January 9, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-14-37-001
Received on Monday, 8 January, 2001

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