Saturday, July 24, 2010

St Bee's Man

Research can be so interesting! Interested in the uses of honey in history, I found a link to St Bee’s Man. I’d heard something of this topic at a conference some years back, found it interesting and decided to have a peek. I found a full report, with links to further information, and decided that others who write and read medieval history might want to read it.

“Dr Eddie Tapp, a paleopathologist from Preston who had done much work on Egyptian mummies, were obtained via an emergency grant from the Department of the Environment.The examination which took place over the next two days made some truly remarkable discoveries, all linked to the amazing degree of preservation of the body. It had been wrapped in linen impregnated with some resinous substance and this, plus other factors, had resulted in the extensive formation of adipocere, a natural process which occurs under certain conditions of cold and dampness (though rarely to this degree). This had preserved the body organs and tissues in such detail that it was possible to determine not only his cause of death, but also his state of general health prior to the injuries that killed him. Details of the findings are described in Dr Todd's historical paper on this site (but be warned, it contains several photographs of the examination which are not for the squeamish!).

The skin, where not stained by the wrapping cloth was still pinkish. The tissues when cut, were very similar to the appearance seen in similar examinations of the recently deceased, and in the chest cavity, liquid blood was found.”

I won’t add more, for some won’t want to know the details. For those who are interested, follow the link: here
I’ve not included pictures for the same reason – they may not be what everyone wants to see.


Maggi Andersen said...

I'll certainly check this out, Jen. But not during breakfast!

Keena Kincaid said...

Fascinating, Jen. Thanks for posting.