2007-08-23: Bog People in the Mail
So we've been away for 10 days doing GenCon related stuff (more or less), and we had our mail held for us. Which cool, 'cause that way it didn't get rained on or stolen or alert all the used-paperback-book thieves to the emptiness of our house. I was thinking I'd have to go to the PO to pick up the back mail but no! They brought it all to me in one bundle! How tidy.
Sorting through two weeks' worth of mail goes like this:
junk-junk-gimme money-magazine-bill-junk-junk-gimme-gimme-bill-bill-oh letter!-mag-mag-junk-junk-mag-etc.
At the end, I've got a stack of magazines, half of which I don't want. (Moment of weakness/inattention with a telemarketer = eight weekly mags free for one year, only one of which I want. Ick.) Plus, there's a new quilting catalog, yay. Anything else?
What's the new National Geographic got to offer?
BOG PEOPLE! O.M.G.
These are no dried out, laid out, wrapped up Egyptian mummies. These are fleshy, emotion-packed, tattered bits of people that look *simultaneously* just like living people and like fruit leather. The complete ones are so well preserved you can see the whorls on their fingers and the thick soft soles of their feet. Astounding. And why did they wind up in the bog?
Now, for those of you who don't know, I really like stuff about mummies. Not horror type mummies, actual real mummies. One of my favorite books is The Mummy Congress by Heather Pringle, about the annual Mummy Congress. There's something utterly compelling to me about the preserved remains of people from ages past. The Bog people were the first mummies I ever got to look at for as long as I wanted, since there were extensive pictures in one of my mom's anthropology textbooks. That and the Leakys and Olduvai Gorge.
I think the existence of mummies points to a broader connection throughout humanity that we generally assume, and to more similarities between those people and modern people than we may be comfortable with.
2007-08-23 22:07:18 Ron Edwards
First reaction: Ewwwwww!
Second: gimme calipers, sample vials, biopsy punches, a very big notebook, an excellent small camera, and an NMR machine. Lemme at those bog dudes; my science is "on."
2007-08-23 22:02:51 Meguey
Hey bonus! There's an article about Mt Vesuvius, with one of the Pompeii mummies!
2007-08-23 22:16:18 Meguey
Ron, I totally agree! Newly dead bodies = not my thing. 1,000 year old dead bodies = cool!
2007-08-23 22:37:15 Emiloy
Total squick! Human flavored fruit jellies. Oh, now those are dedicated scientists. :)
Have you heard about the library they found covered by a volcano? Where were people telling me about that... It was a wealthy household's private library, and may change the face of classical history, or who knows.
2007-08-24 15:42:36 Julia
When it comes to dead bodies, I say the older the better!