Well, I am stuck in the ancient world again as I search for documentaries on the Renaissance and the Reformation. Today, I am going to blog about Mummy Forensic and the Mystery of the Misfit Mummy. The run time for this episode is 48:35.
Mummy Forensics: is a group of mummy experts who try to solve the mysteries of the world’s most mysterious mummies. The team applies modern forensics and looks to the historical record to learn more about Ancient Egyptian Mummies. Joann Fletcher, Stephen Buckley an archeological chemist, Duncan Lees a forensic archeologist, and Jill Scott an Egyptologist make up the Mummy Forensic Team. Each brings their particular set of skills to help tell the mummy’s story. They bring both history and science together to help explore history to help explore how these mummies died.
Today, this mummy forensic team is on the case of a mummy of a temple dancer. The mummy is found in the Bolton Museum. She is partially unwrapped but her cause of death remains a mystery. This mummy is one of the most popular attractions in the museum. Her coffin is beautifully painted and demonstrates her high status. The coffin is an incredibly tight fit for the body. Her shoulders are bashing against the edges of the coffin. How would this lady fit after being wrapped?
Joann Fletcher wants to solve the mystery of this mummy and why she was put in a coffin too small for her body. She sets to work inspecting the mummy and taking photographs. She is looking for even the smallest of clues to crack the case. This case is going to be a challenge for the Mummy Forensic Team. Joann talks about her initial examination. The coffin has been studied over the years by academics and has been written about. The mummy was a priestess, but Joann points out that there was no way the body could have fit.
Jill concurs with this explanation and points out how the paint was scraped off as the lady was put into the coffin. However, the team will need more information. Joann then focuses on the teeth; the lady would have had the modern equivalent of “buck teeth” in her mouth. The Pharaohs of the New Kingdom shared this distinct characteristic. Was this a royal mummy? Stephen Buckley talks about the marks on this mummy’s face. It was hinted that Ramses II had smallpox and this was evidenced by his mummy, but that is disputed. The team makes a plan to examine the mummy further. The mummy is delicate so the team will have to be careful when they examine the mummy further.
Stephen Buckley takes his samples first. The chemical analysis of the mummy will take weeks to process. Joann Fletcher reaches out for help to learn more about the pictograms on the coffin. Alan Fiddles, the pictograms expert carefully examines the paintings on the coffin. The pictograms reveal that she was a singer and participated in the sacred rituals at the Karnak Temple. Jobs in the temple were few and were generally reserved for the elite in society. These women would have spent one month in three serving in the temple. Professor Don Brothwell is also brought in and the mummy is x-rayed. These x-rays will help move the investigation forward…or does it?
The results reveal that the skeleton in the coffin is a MAN! The man had a slender build. His mouth would have given him trouble eating and speaking. This throws the whole investigation into doubt. This means that coffin was not originally built for him. So who was this young man? Due to his mouth condition, there could be a connection to the royal family. However, there would have to be a facial reconstruction and a deeper investigation into the mummy. Who was this man? Why was he put into a woman’s coffin? Did this man have a connection to the Royal Family? Continue to watch this episode to find out!
Even though we are talking about ancient history in this documentary, Mummy Forensic would be an excellent series to show in a science classroom because of the elements of experimental history in this show. If the high school offers a forensic science class, then this is appropriate for the teacher’s list of documentaries to show in the classroom.
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