Actually, the method described in this article is unique as far as I can tell and to date no one has been able to copy it. That makes it pretty freaky to me!
Corpses Of Stone
Photo credit: Universita degli Studi di Firenze
Mankind has been taken with the idea of preserving corpses. The oldest known mummy is that of a child of the Chinchorro people, a prehistoric fishing culture that lived along the arid coast of present-day Chile and Peru. It was carbon dated to approximately 5050 B.C., long before the Egyptians began their practice.
Born in 1792, Italian anatomist Girolamo Segato was rather obsessed with Egyptian funerary practices. He went on several archaeological expeditions to Egypt, where he became intimately acquainted with the process of mummification. Upon his return to Italy, Segato unveiled an extraordinary technique of preserving flesh—artificial petrifaction.
According to pioneering American surgeon Valentine Mott, who spent some time in Europe in the company of Segato, the Italian “had discovered a chemical process by which he could actually petrify, in very short time, every animal substance, preserving permanently, and with minute accuracy, its form and internal texture, and in such a state of stony hardness that it could be sawed into slabs and elegantly polished!”
Segato died in 1836, destroying all his notes before his passing. His collection of preserved remains was scattered, with the largest concentration located at the Museum of the Department of Anatomy in Florence. Despite extensive study, Segato’s petrification method remains a mystery to this day.
One more thing to add to our growing list of mysteries we don't know the answer to, I guess!
Well, since today is my birthday, I'm taking the rest of the day off! Yep, I hit the big "70" today! I don't know how I managed to last this long, but here I am!
Coffee in the kitchen. It's warm, but rainy outside!