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    Egyptian and Peruvian Mummies under the X-Rays.—An X-ray study of the unopened Egyptian and Peruvian mummy-packs in the collections of the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, by Mr. Roy L. Moodie, has yielded valuable material bearing on our knowledge of diseases in ancient times. An account of the investigation, accompanied by 76 plates, mostly from X-ray photographs, is published in vol. 3 (Anthropology) Memoirs of the Museum. The employment of X-rays has made possible the examination of whole skeletons, but it is subject to limitations, of which the most serious is that it does not reveal all lesions, especially when they are slight or covered by more or less dense tissue. Nor does it show trepanning or injuries from clubs and the like. Percentage of disease or injury among the fifty-three mummy-packs examined is high, 10.52 per cent of the Peruvian pre-Columbian mummies and 40 per cent of the Egyptian being affected. The examination of the Peruvian children showed no evidence of rickets, but there is a trace among the Egyptians. The Egyptian mummies showed arthritis, arteriosclerosis, and absorptive osteitis resulting from pyorrhoea. Owing to the masses of pitch or sand-sprinkled tar which obstructs the head, and masks, ornaments, etc., the interpretation of the teeth is not possible. There is a doubtful case of hypertrophied liver. In the Peruvian mummies arthritis and arteriosclerosis are rare. Few cases of caries can be identified, owing to the intervention of various objects. Pyorrhœa and calculus are common. A rare example of impaction of the mandibular third molars was observed. Nasal disturbances of the turbinates was revealed, though none is sufficiently clear to admit diagnosis. Aural exostoses were a frequent cause of partial or complete deafness. Otitis media occurred, and mastoid infection was detected. Mummified animals from both Egypt and Peru were also examined.

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    Research Items. Nature 129, 99–101 (1932) doi:10.1038/129099a0

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