The Resiliant Human Body
It never ceases to amaze me that as the world becomes more and more interconnected, there are still things being made, and discovered, and things from our past that still baffle scientists even today. I don’t think I’m a geek, but I must admit The Discovery Channel, and documentaries of the pyramids, mummies, catacombs, and just History in general peak my interest. While watching a show about the catacombs just the other day I was shocked and amazed to see the body of a little girl who died in the 1900s looked as if she were sleeping and taking a nap. She was entombed in a glass box, and had the appearance of a doll. She had been given the nick name “Sleeping Beauty”. She was 2 years old when she died and her father who was so distraught over her death, approached a famed embalmer who used his secret formula to preserve her body which was later discovered to be formalin, alcohol, glycerin, zinc salts, and salicylic acid but the actual quantities are still unknown. His method was so effective that her body appears today with little signs of decomposition. Rosalia Lombardo rests in the catacombs of Palermo Italy.
The St. Bernadette of Lourdes
Also to my shock Rosalia is not the only corpse entombed in glass. The St. Bernadette of Lourdes as she appears today to the right. She died in 1809, and after the Church Canonized Her, Her face was preserved in a wax mask, and she has been on display ever since. Thousands of believers flock to her every year. What is even more amazing is that for thirty years her body lay in a damp grave, but once exhumed showed little signs of decomposition. Some see this as a sign of divine intervention. I think it's amazing. She was once quoted as saying that in a vision she was told, "She would not find happiness in this World, but only in the next....."
While trying to find out more about Rosalia, I stumbled across a photo of Xiaohe. Xiaohe is a 4,000 year old mummy that was found in China. So what makes her so special….. Besides the obvious, she is very well preserved to the point of still having eyelashes, but her features are Caucasian. The complications of her discovery according to bluestarchronicles.com is that, “Her very existence, and that of others that have been found in China’s Tarim Basin, in Xinjiang province suggest that the area was settled by Europeans rather than Asians initially. That flies in the face of the accepted history of China.” Maybe we will never know, innitially banned from leaving the country, she was shipped to the US in March of 2010 as apart of an exhibit.
Of all the things that keep being found, and discovered that push the envelope leaves me wandering if history can truly be changed? Others have said that history is unchangeable, but what if what we already know is not history at all. If someone like Xiaohe is discovered, that contradicts everything that we thought we knew…….what purpose would it serve to not want to know the truth?
- European-looking mummies found in China, shown in Calif. - USATODAY.com
The first U.S. exhibit of the well-preserved mummies, discovered in western China, opens March 27 in Santa Ana, Calif.
- St. Bernadette Soubirous - Saints & Angels - Catholic Online
Large searchable database of information on Catholic saints. Saints, Catholic Saints. Thousands of Catholic Saints with biographical data, prayers, images, etc. The saints are cross-indexed to other patronage topics, nationality, and calendar of sain
- Morbid Anatomy: Rosalia Lombardo, or "Sleeping Beauty" of the Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Italy
Morbid Anatomy: Surveying the Interstices of Art and Medicine, Death and Culture.
- In a Desert in China, a Trove of 4,000-Year-Old Mummies - NYTimes.com
Chinese archaeologists unearthed a 4,000-year-old cemetery in Xinjiang Province that seemed to be a vanished peoples paean to the pleasures or utility of procreation.
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