Laboratory Report

So, in light of the news that Russell will be next working on a reprise of the 1930s version of The Mummy (w/ Boris Karloff), I went dashing off into the internet to rediscover all my favorite information haunts in relation to ancient Egypt. My fascination with that period of history started with a grade school assignment (I was ten years old), wherein I had to present a written report and an oral report for the class. Needless to say, I took great delight in describing how a mummification actually took place. The announcement that Tutankhamun’s treasure would tour the States for the first time only fueled the fire. Unfortunately, the closest city it showed up (at least to my hometown of Houston) was New Orleans, I believe, and so I was not able to go.  A friend of the family visited, however, and brought back the tour book that detailed in fine photography all of the artifacts in the exhibit. I pored over them for as long as I could get away with it, until my mother had to pry it from my hands and remind me it belonged to someone else, but I was deep into the throes by that time, enough to declare that one day, I would go to Egypt and discover sites of my own.


I even wrote bad haiku about it.

Egyptologist am I,

Sailing down the Nile,

In search of Imhotep.

Egyptologist am I.


Now you know why I don’t attempt to write poetry anymore.


But my love of archaeology held firm, until the day I walked into the Anthro department at college and signed up for an Introduction to Culture. From then on, my life was all about dirt and trowels and stone tools and “Pappa Franz kicks butt!” (See Franz Boaz). 


I also had the privilege of taking a Forensic Anthropology class and spent many a good hour in the lab after classes washing, labeling, and gluing skeletal material together. So you think I’d be all prepped to go off to Egypt with that kind of knowledge under my belt.


Well, fast forward many many years, and since coming to this fandom, I befriended a Crime Scene Tech from Kentucky and she has shared with me over the years some of the expertise she learned in her field. She even attended the National Forensic Academy at the University of Tennessee, home of the original Body Farm, as created and led by Dr. William Bass. Needless to say, as a student of a student of Dr. Bass, I was a bit green with envy.


However, you can imagine our delight when coming across this article, WA researchers’ Ancient Egyptian mummies breakthrough could help catch criminals. It straddles both our interests!


The team found Egyptian blue pigment, used in painted artefacts dating back millennia, also acts as a near-infrared luminescent fingerprint dusting powder that works on highly patterned and reflective surfaces.


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