Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Jean-François Champollion and ancient Egyptian embalming

Two hundred years ago this year, the future founder of Egyptology, French linguist and archaeologist Jean-François Champollion (1790—1832)—the first person since classical antiquity to be able to read the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs—conducted a primitive experiment. It turned out to be one of the initial scientific steps on the long road to unravelling the mysteries of mummification, first described in the fifth century BC by the Greek historian Herodotus.

In 1812, Champollion was an impecunious 21-year-old assistant professor of history at the University of Grenoble and an assistant at the city's municipal library.

For more, see The Lancet

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