Friday, October 30, 2009

In the Lab

Video: Salima Ikram talks about animal mummies
Heritage Key
Salima Ikram is an excellent presenter and this is a great introduction to the process of animal mummification, accompanied by some footage of animal mummies. Dr Ikram shows two handfuls of natron, the key substance in Egyptian mummification (only enough for mummifying a lizard). She also discusses her experiments with mummifying rabbits, catfish and Nile perch.

Ancient Egyptian grain-based pregnancy test found to be 70% accurate by archaeologists
Ground Report
Anne Hart

I thought I had posted this already but I cannot find the post, so apologies if this is a repeat.

The earliest recorded pregnancy test has been found by archaeologists examining ancient Egyptian medical training documents using barley and wheat grains/seeds. The test dates from around 1350 B.C.E. Archaeologists found a hieroglyphic document that when translated described how to find out whether someone is pregnant. The woman who thinks she may be pregnant urinates on wheat and barley whole grains/seeds.

The ancient papyrus translated something like, “If the barley seeds sprout or grow, it means a male child will be born. If the wheat sprouts and thrives, it means a female child will arrive in a few months. If the barley and wheat grains never sprout and grow when a woman urinates on the grain seeds, the woman is not pregnant and therefore, will not give birth this time around. That part of the test that's 70% accurate is when either type of grains actually sprout and thrive when urinated upon by a pregnant woman, even in the earliest stages of pregnancy.

1 comment:

A.H. said...

You can see the source of this information in my article at this website:

Anne Hart,
Sacramento Nutrition Examiner (and)
National Children's Nutrition Examiner