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Mummy Mystery Solved

A German research team say that they have unravelled the mystery of the mummification techniques of the Ancient Egyptians. In a new study published in Nature, chemists from Tuebingen University and the Munich-based Doerner-Institut found that an extract from the cedar tree – a a chemical called guaiacol – acted as a natural preservative allowing mummies to last for thousands of years.

The research team tested the extract on pig ribs, and found that it had very high anti-bacterial properties, which stopped the natural decomposing of the tissue. The findings are sure to surprise Egyptologists, who have always assumed that the extract came from juniper, not cedar. The scientists tested using juniper as well, but the results showed that it did not contain the necessary preservative guaiacol

Read the original article at: Sydney Morning Herald

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