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Bibliography For History’s Mysteries and Ironies: Ancient Egypt

Bibliography for History’s Mysteries and Ironies, Ancient Egypt.

Slide 3, 4.



Blue Lotus:


David Pybus Researcher of Blue Lotus:

Slide 5: Cleopatra’s pearl science/t/cleopatra-pearl-cocktail-proven-possible/#.WSizsWjyuyI*.html

Slide 6:

Hero’s Machines

Slide 7: When a fire is lit, the air in the altar is heated and, as it expands, it enters a hollow sphere full of water. Due to the rising pressure in the sphere, some of the water is displaced into the bucket. As the bucket becomes more heavy, it is lowered, opening the doors of the temple (Figure 12). When the fire at the altar was put out, the pressure inside the altar would drop, and water would go back to the hollow sphere, pushed by atmospheric pressure. Then, the counterweights would force the doors of the temple to close.



Slide 8, Mummies & Medicine

Mummy parts used as medicine

Mumia = Persian bitumen

The meaning of mumia shifted in a big way in the 12th century when Gerard of Cremona, a translator of Arabic-language manuscripts, defined the word as “the substance found in the land where bodies are buried with aloes by which the liquid of the dead, mixed with the aloes, is transformed and is similar to marine pitch.” After this point the meaning of mumia expanded to include not just asphalt and other hardened, resinous material from an embalmed body but the flesh of that embalmed body as well.

As with a game of telephone, where meaning changes with each transference, people eventually came to believe that the mummies themselves (not the sticky stuff used to embalm them) possessed the power to heal.

What was the attraction of mummy medicine in early modern Europe? Likely the exoticism of mummies, at least in part. Europeans began exploring Egypt in the 13th century

Medical historian Mary Fissell reminds us that common understandings of medicinal usefulness were once quite different. Medicine that produced a physiological effect—whether purging or excreting—was considered successful.

Slide 10: Egyptian (Mummy) brown


Butcher Mummy paper:

The Corpse: A History Christine Quigley is Assistant Director for Academic Affairs in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Georgetown University. She is also the author of Conjoined Twins (2003), Skulls and Skeletons (2001), Modern Mummies (1998) and Death Dictionary (1994). She lives in Alexandria, Virginia

Dard Hunter is a well-known paper researcher and cataloguer and a proponent of handmade paper. His book, Papermaking: The History and Technique of an Ancient Craft, relates the experiments of I. Augustus Stanwood in both ground-wood paper and mummy paper. Hunter received his information from Stanwood’s son Daniel, a professor of international law. According to Daniel, during the American Civil War his father was hard-pressed for materials for his Maine mill. As such, he imported mummies from Egypt, stripped the bodies of their wrappings and used this material for making paper. Several shiploads of mummies were brought to the mill in Gardiner, Maine and were thus used to make a brown wrapping paper for grocersbutchers and other merchants.

US  paper printed on mummy linen: (S.J. Wolfe)                              Also: and

Company was making paper from mummy wrappings, imported from Egypt.

Crocodile dung for contraception (slightly alkaline)

Slide 11

gum spermicide (mixed with honey)

Olive oil sperm motility

 Slide 12 Pregnancy test

Egypt pregnancy test