In September 1991, a pair of German tourists exploring the Ötztal Mountains found a mummy, the popularity of which rapidly spread across the world. Once again the dream of eternal life captivated the interest of researchers, travellers and readers. Mummies found in ice, crypts and catacombs, in places ranging from the Andes to China, preserved through natural and artificial processes varying across cultures, provide a veritable library of information. This book’s author – a leading expert on the subject – succeeds in making these long dead individuals talk to us. Thanks to advanced techniques in molecular bio-archaeology, the text also sheds light on ancient diseases, which may help us better understand the mechanisms underlying contemporary health issues.
Albert Zink is a paleopathologist and the scientific director of the Institute for Mummies and the Iceman at EURAC Research in Bolzano.