I've recently come to terms with my obsession with mummies. I resisted at first because I felt morbid, but there's something about them that intrigues me.
I'm not talking about Egyptian mummies; I like the ones that are so well-preserved, you can still see the look on their faces.
It's morbid, I know, but why fight it?
Take a look at the bog people, for example. They were thrown into a bog in Ireland over 2,000 years ago and were preserved so well that on one man, you can still see the wrinkles in his face and the way he styled his hair. You can read more about them on National Geographic.
These mummies were brutally murdered before being sent to the bog. This man, for example, was hung. They were either executed or sacrificed.
|He cared for his nails better than most men I know.|
Perhaps mummies carry such fascination for me because it connects me to the past. We spend so much time studying texts and artifacts, trying to understand these people, but on rare occasion, we can still see their faces.
Probably the most interesting mummies were the ones in Pompeii. This Roman town was destroyed by a volcano eruption and buried in ash. When archeologists excavated it, they kept finding holes in the ash.
Finally, they decided to fill the holes with cement to see what they were. Come to find out, they used to be bodies. The ash came so quickly, you can see the people at the exact moment of death. Some were screaming, some were praying, some (like in the picture below) gathered with their loved ones and waited to die.
|Laying down, waiting to die|
|A panicked dog|
By the way, going to Pompeii was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. It's a whole city... not just a few buildings, but a city. I walked down the streets, surrounded by houses and temples, and felt like I was in ancient Rome.
I'm not the only one fascinated with mummies. In Peru, they discovered mummies who were tied into a fetal position, which makes them look like they're screaming. Impressionist painters used them in their work. In fact, "The Scream" was copied from one of these bodies.
You have to admit, mummies are pretty amazing.