Sunday, October 30, 2011

Making a modern mummy

Radio Times

Not for the squeamish. Last week on the UK tv's Channel 4 a show (Egypt's Last Secret) was aired showing former Torquay taxi driver Alan Billis becoming the human to be mummified in the 21st century using Ancient Egyptian methods.

Billis donated his body to the rather unusual project after discovering he had terminal cancer. It's an intriguing human story - and the science behind it is equally fascinating.

Mummifying Alan: Egypt’s Last Secret follows a team led by archaeological chemist Dr Stephen Buckley as they attempt to re-create the unique practices of the Ancient Egyptians of the 18th dynasty, the most highly skilled mummy-makers in history.

Dr Buckley gave us his step-by-step guide to making a modern-day mummy...

Scarborough Evening News

Dr Stephen Buckley and Dr Jo Fletcher, who live in Scarborough and work at the University of York, have helped mummify taxi driver Alan Billis, of Torquay. Mr Billis, who was terminally ill with lung cancer, put himself forward for the project, which is the culmination of years of research by the Scarborough pair. . .

Egyptologist Dr Fletcher told the Evening News that she expects the programme to “rattle a lot of cages” due to its controversial nature, but says the whole process was carried out with the full support of Mr Billis’ family.

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