Author(s): Boano R, Fulcheri E, Grilletto R, Leospo E, Rabino Massa E
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Abstract The purpose of this work is to give a brief account of the possibility to estimate the preservation of human mummified tissues using histological analysis. This method can be useful to identify injuries and to plan qualified conservative actions on ancient human remains. Some preliminary results are presented here regarding the study on 16 ancient mummies from the Egyptian Museum of Turin. Samples of mummified tissues were taken without damaging the remains; they were hydrated again and dyed with histological techniques which were specifically modified and verified in same cases. Our research identifies some agents (biological and chemical) that appear to be responsible, among others, of mummified tissue destruction. The microscopic examination reveals features that might refer to fungal and bacterial infestation. Using special staining methods on seried sections we were able to suspect, at least in one case, the presence of biologically active forms. Microbiological assays confirm the vitality of fungi. Histological tissue analysis can then be useful to guide any conservative intervention for preservation and protection of the integrity of biological remains from museum collections.
This article was published in Boll Soc Ital Biol Sper
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals