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Embalming


Eppenberger, Patrick; Rühli, Frank J (2018). Embalming. In: López Varela, S L. The Encyclopedia of Archaeological Sciences. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Epub ahead of print.

Abstract

The use of embalming techniques to stabilize biological tissues against degradation by impeding enzymatic and microbiotic activity and, in some cases, to restore antemortem appearance is known since antiquity and remains, to this day, of great importance for diagnostic analysis, scientific research, and student training. Nowadays in biology and medicine, various fixation methods are applied to preserve structures of histological or anatomical specimens for further investigation, with neutral buffered formalin (NBF) solution being the most widely used fixation agent since its introduction in the 1890s. While the history of preparation and preservation of anatomical specimens is evidently linked to the history of the study of anatomy itself, the application of embalming techniques to preserve the whole human body from decay after death undoubtedly originated in the religious beliefs of various ancient cultures, where a preserved body was essential to attain eternal life, such as in the Chinchorro culture of South America and in ancient Egypt.

Abstract

The use of embalming techniques to stabilize biological tissues against degradation by impeding enzymatic and microbiotic activity and, in some cases, to restore antemortem appearance is known since antiquity and remains, to this day, of great importance for diagnostic analysis, scientific research, and student training. Nowadays in biology and medicine, various fixation methods are applied to preserve structures of histological or anatomical specimens for further investigation, with neutral buffered formalin (NBF) solution being the most widely used fixation agent since its introduction in the 1890s. While the history of preparation and preservation of anatomical specimens is evidently linked to the history of the study of anatomy itself, the application of embalming techniques to preserve the whole human body from decay after death undoubtedly originated in the religious beliefs of various ancient cultures, where a preserved body was essential to attain eternal life, such as in the Chinchorro culture of South America and in ancient Egypt.

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Item Type:Book Section, not_refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Evolutionary Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2018
Deposited On:20 Mar 2019 13:07
Last Modified:20 Mar 2019 13:09
Publisher:John Wiley & Sons
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119188230.saseas0212
Related URLs:https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/browse/book/10.1002/9781119188230/title

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