By utilizing current advancements in technology, scientists have been able to uncover a plethora of new information about the techniques used in mummification.
A series of CT scans performed on a 2,400-year-old mummy in 2008 revealed a tool that was left inside the cranial cavity of the skull.
The first modern scientific examinations of mummies began in 1901, conducted by professors at the English-language Government School of Medicine in Cairo, Egypt.The first X-ray of a mummy came in 1903, when professors Grafton Elliot Smith and Howard Carter used the only X-ray machine in Cairo at the time to examine the mummified body of Thutmose IV.Egyptians buried the dead in pit graves, without regard to social status. This characteristic allowed for the hot, dry sand of the desert to dehydrate the bodies, leading to natural mummification.The natural preservation of the dead had a profound effect on ancient Egyptian religion.The Medieval English term "mummy" was defined as "medical preparation of the substance of mummies", rather than the entire corpse, with Richard Hakluyt in 1599 AD complaining that "these dead bodies are the Mummy which the Phisistians and Apothecaries doe against our willes make us to swallow". The OED defines a mummy as "the body of a human being or animal embalmed (according to the ancient Egyptian or some analogous method) as a preparation for burial", citing sources from 1615 AD onward.
define a mummy as follows: "A human or animal body desiccated by exposure to sun or air.
Mummies are typically divided into one of two distinct categories: anthropogenic or spontaneous.
Anthropogenic mummies were deliberately created by the living for any number of reasons, the most common being for religious purposes.
The information presented at the meeting triggered a new surge of interest in the subject, with one of the major results being integration of biomedical and bioarchaeological information on mummies with existing databases.
This was not possible prior to the Congress due to the unique and highly specialized techniques required to gather such data.
Spontaneous mummies, such as Ötzi, were created unintentionally due to natural conditions such as extremely dry heat or cold, or anaerobic conditions such as those found in bogs.