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The Ōshū Fujiwara—An interdisciplinary study on the history, culture and medical assessment of the oldest known mummified human remains in Japan (late Heian, 12th century AD)


Schmid, Sarah Rebecca; Habicht, Michael; Eppenberger, Patrick; Seiler, Roger; Steineck, Raji; Rühli, Frank (2021). The Ōshū Fujiwara—An interdisciplinary study on the history, culture and medical assessment of the oldest known mummified human remains in Japan (late Heian, 12th century AD). PLoS ONE, 16(10):e0253693.

Abstract

This study documents a rare case of mummified human remains from Japan, dating to the late Heian period, 12th Century AD. The remains have only been scientifically investigated once in 1950 so far. The results of this investigation were translated, analyzed, and interpreted using methods of the 21st century. The remains have been traditionally identified as the four ruling generations of the Ōshū Fujiwara clan, who built a cultural and economic center in Hiraizumi. Accordingly, this paper will first examine the historical and cultural significance of Hiraizumi and its ruling class before re-evaluating the findings of the 1950 investigation. This study is the first in the Western scientific literature to provide a comprehensive historical, cultural, and medical evaluation of these mummies.

Abstract

This study documents a rare case of mummified human remains from Japan, dating to the late Heian period, 12th Century AD. The remains have only been scientifically investigated once in 1950 so far. The results of this investigation were translated, analyzed, and interpreted using methods of the 21st century. The remains have been traditionally identified as the four ruling generations of the Ōshū Fujiwara clan, who built a cultural and economic center in Hiraizumi. Accordingly, this paper will first examine the historical and cultural significance of Hiraizumi and its ruling class before re-evaluating the findings of the 1950 investigation. This study is the first in the Western scientific literature to provide a comprehensive historical, cultural, and medical evaluation of these mummies.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Evolutionary Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:180 Ancient, medieval & eastern philosophy
290 Other religions
Uncontrolled Keywords:Multidisciplinary
Language:English
Date:18 October 2021
Deposited On:22 Oct 2021 08:59
Last Modified:25 Jun 2024 01:45
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1932-6203
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0253693
PubMed ID:34662361
Project Information:
  • : FunderMäxi Foundation Switzerland
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title
  • : FunderDr. Richard Dähler
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)