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AN EXPERIMENTAL ASSESSMENT OF THE CAUSE OF MUMMIFI CATION IN THE JOSEON PERIOD BURIALS, REPUBLIC OF KOREA

https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2018.46.1.117-122

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Abstract

This article presents the results of experiments aimed at testing the hypotheses that mummifi cation of human bodies in Joseon Dynasty burials was caused by an exothermic reaction and subsequent destruction of intestinal microfl ora. Well-preserved mummies of that period were discovered only in the Hoegwakmyo tombs, where the lime-soil-mixture barrier was present. Experiments were conducted using animal bodies placed in miniature grave models. Immediately after contact with moisture, the temperature inside the coffi n surrounded by a lime-soil-mixture increased to 130.8±23.5°C and remained stable for 141.0±64.7 minutes. The examination of bacterial cultures on MacConkey or blood agar plates showed that the entire fl ora normally existing in the rat intestine was completely sterilized by high temperature. We also demonstrate that the same mummifi cation can be reproduced regardless of the sizes of miniature graves.

About the Authors

Chang Seok Oh
Institute of Forensic Science, Seoul National University College of Medicine
Korea, Republic of

103 Daehak-ro (Yongon-dong), Jongno-gu, Seoul, 03080



Ih Uk Kang
Kyung Hee University
Korea, Republic of

26 Kyungheedae-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, 02447



Jong Ha Hong
Institute of Forensic Science, Seoul National University College of Medicine
Korea, Republic of

103 Daehak-ro (Yongon-dong), Jongno-gu, Seoul, 03080



Jun Bum Park
Sangmyung University Seoul Industry Academic Cooperation Foundation
Korea, Republic of

20 Hongimun 2-Gil, Jongno-Gu, Seoul, 03016



Dong Hoon Shin
Institute of Forensic Science, Seoul National University College of Medicine
Korea, Republic of

103 Daehak-ro (Yongon-dong), Jongno-gu, Seoul, 03080



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For citation:


Oh C.S., Kang I.U., Hong J.H., Park J.B., Shin D.H. AN EXPERIMENTAL ASSESSMENT OF THE CAUSE OF MUMMIFI CATION IN THE JOSEON PERIOD BURIALS, REPUBLIC OF KOREA. Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia. 2018;46(1):117-122. (In Russ.) https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2018.46.1.117-122

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