Medieval Mummies: the next interdisciplinary frontier for paleopathology and the case of the Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne (742 - 814)

Summary

Since its humble and pioneering beginnings, mummy research, as a branch of  paleopathology, has grown remarkably. The implementation of state-of-the-art radiological techniques, as well as molecular and chemical methodologies, has advanced our knowledge of how mummification was performed in ancient Egypt, at the same time allowing us to get a clearer idea of the history and morphology of diseases in primeval times, thus shedding light on the evolution of pathogens and biological responses to them. These techniques have also been used for the analysis of natural mummies, most famously the Tyrolean Ice Man. In spite of such advancements, our understanding of medieval mummies is far from complete.To overcome this difficulty, historical sources are analysed through state-of-the-art paleopathography and used to extract vital information on medieval mummies. Besides theoretical considerations, we present, among others, the most notable case of the Frankish king Charlemagne (742 - 814), combing osteological analysis and paleopathography. 

Cite this Record

Medieval Mummies: the next interdisciplinary frontier for paleopathology and the case of the Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne (742 - 814). Francesco Maria Galassi, Thomas Böni, Patrick Eppenberger, Michael E. Habicht, Urs Leo Gantenbein, Frank J. Rühli. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435340)

Spatial Coverage

min long: 5.967; min lat: 45.838 ; max long: 10.471; max lat: 47.807 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 483