Sunday, 28 May 2017
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AAAAlgarve Archaeological Association talk on Tuesday 6th June 2017 - 'The Egyptian Mummy: Ancient Craft - Modern Science'.

On Tuesday 6th June, the Algarve Archaeological Association (AAA) will be presenting two lectures, in English, by Robert Loynes. The first lecture will be at 2.30pm at the Museu do Trajo in Sao Bras, the second lecture will be at 5.45pm at the Convento de Sao Jose in Lagoa.

CT Scanning a mummy - photo copyright of Manchester MuseumThe Egyptian mummy has, for centuries, been a source of fascination. This was often driven by it's association with magical properties and the occult. From the 19th century, archaeologists and Egyptologists commenced a more scientific and structured approach to the investigation of these human mummies. Unfortunately, until the advent of medical imaging in the closing years of the 19th century, the only method of investigation and analysis was to subject the mummies to dissection. This had the obvious disadvantage of resulting in the complete destruction of these precious and unique artefacts. In the era of the 20th century, we have the advantage of using advanced medical imaging techniques – CT scans – to perform virtual autopsies ("virtopsies"). This enables the analysis of anatomical abnormalities and the ability to attribute them (in most cases) to disease, damage or the mummification/embalming process. Analysis of another part of the process of mummification, wrapping, can help to identify unexpected features.

This presentation will cover our current knowledge of the motivation of the ancient Egyptians to preserve their dead. It will look at various aspects of current mummy research, including some related to mummies in the Manchester Museum as well as others, if time permits, from across Europe and the USA. The presentation will also provide a brief explanation of the science behind medical imaging.

Mummy scan - photo copyright of Manchester MuseumAfter a career as an Orthopaedic surgeon in the West Midlands, Robert Loynes returned to University and obtained a PhD in Egyptology in 2014. His interest is in the use of medical imaging in the analysis of Egyptian mummies, with reference to the embalming techniques in particular and noting any pathological abnormalities as they appear. It is surprising how varied the details are of such processes when comparing different eras and locations in Ancient Egypt.

Lunch in Sao Bras can be arranged in advance – please call Maxine on 917 267 948. Non-members are welcome to attend the lectures for a 6 euro admission fee - all money raised by the AAA is spent on archaeological grants and speakers.

For more information contact, visit or Facebook 'Algarve Archaeological Association'.

Please check the website or facebook page for any last minute changes.

Photos copyrighted by Manchester Museum