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Overview of the whole-body CT. (A) Coronal multi-planar reformatted (MPR) image shows the head, trunk and thighs. The skeleton is preserved with differentiation between hyperdense cortical and hypodense spongy bone (dotted arrows). The surrounding soft tissues appear as a relatively homogeneous mass. Intracranially, parts of the dura are visible (short arrows). The thoracic cavity is separated from the abdominal cavity by a predominantly visible hyerpdense diaphragm (long arrow). The abdomen is distinctly widened and inflated. Note the preservation of the trachea including the lower bifurcation (asterisk). (B) Sagittal MPR image of the head and trunk shows a board inserted on an angle at the front end, lifting Rosalia's head. The position of the vertebral column is unremarkable. The spinal cord terminates in the cauda equina at the level of approximately lumbar vertebra 1 (arrow). The oropharynx and the nasal cavity are inflated. Preservation of the tongue is visible (asterisk).  

Overview of the whole-body CT. (A) Coronal multi-planar reformatted (MPR) image shows the head, trunk and thighs. The skeleton is preserved with differentiation between hyperdense cortical and hypodense spongy bone (dotted arrows). The surrounding soft tissues appear as a relatively homogeneous mass. Intracranially, parts of the dura are visible (short arrows). The thoracic cavity is separated from the abdominal cavity by a predominantly visible hyerpdense diaphragm (long arrow). The abdomen is distinctly widened and inflated. Note the preservation of the trachea including the lower bifurcation (asterisk). (B) Sagittal MPR image of the head and trunk shows a board inserted on an angle at the front end, lifting Rosalia's head. The position of the vertebral column is unremarkable. The spinal cord terminates in the cauda equina at the level of approximately lumbar vertebra 1 (arrow). The oropharynx and the nasal cavity are inflated. Preservation of the tongue is visible (asterisk).  

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Whole-body multidetector computed tomography (CT) was performed on the mummified corpse of two-year-old Rosalia Lombardo, an anthropogenic mummy displayed in the Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily, Italy. Rosalia Lombardo reportedly died of bronchopneumonia in 1920 and was preserved by the embalmer and taxidermist Alfredo Salafia by a formaldehy...

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... by a predominantly visible hyerpdense diaphragm. The abdomen was markedly dilated and inflated (Fig. ...

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... In Rosalia's facial features were morphologically compared with those of Ernesto Salafia Maggio (died in 1914) and Giovanni Paterniti (died in 1911), two individuals whose bodies were reported to have been embalmed by Alfredo Salafia (Piombino-Mascali, 2009; third edition 2012). In 2013 the Multidetector CT investigation (performed in December 2010) of Rosalia's mummy was published (Panzer et al., 2013). With reference to the use of wax, the authors stated: "…also we could not find clear evidence of the application of a facial paraffin treatment although it seems very likely that this method was used considering how perfectly preserved Rosalia's face appears to be" (Galassi et al., 2021). ...
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... However, the extensive size of the catacombs and the poor state of conservation of most of the bodies may prevent a thorough investigation of this enormous "bioarchive" of Sicilian history. Started in 2007, the Sicily Mummy project has provided, up to now, few isolated reports on CT scan analyses (Panzer et al. 2010(Panzer et al. , 2013, paleonutrition, paleobotany, entomology, and bacteriology (Piombino-Mascali et al. 2011;Pinar et al. 2014). ...
... The result of the embalming was excellent and the infant appears as if having fallen asleep (Fig. 6). A recent extensive CT-scan investigation (Panzer et al. 2013), technically difficult since the lead lining of the coffin caused interference with the scan, showed excellently preserved internal organs that were slightly shrunken, but otherwise in anatomically correct position. In the lungs, condensations were seen confirming the reported clinical diagnosis of fatal pneumonia. ...
... The CT scan did not show evidence of a single point injection in the femoral artery using a gravity injector, the technique usually recommended by Salafia. Neither was there evidence of other intra-or intermuscular injection sites (Panzer et al. 2013). No biochemical investigations have been so far published to allow scholars to clarify whether the embalming substances used to treat Rosalia's body corresponded to Salafia's formula ("Perfection Fluid") nor if he had applied a paraffin treatment to her face to soften and smooth the skin. ...
Chapter
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... The facial reconstruction was prepared using the CT-data set that had been obtained for the skull [9]. The entire virtual reconstruction was produced with the 3D software Blender; this open-source 3D and animation software was applied in the same way as in previous studies [10]. ...
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... To acquire high-quality imaging, the MSCT device has to fulfil minimal technical characteristics, such as the spatial resolution of 25 lp/mm (line pair per millimetre) and the possibility of archiving raw data. Multidetector computed tomography offers a detailed noninvasive analysis of objects on/in the mummies with 3D imaging and it is frequently used in the study of mummies (Saleem & Hawass, 2014;Davey et al., 2013;Panzer et al., 2013b;Dedouit et al., 2010;Jackowski et al., 2008). MSCT provides a reconstruction of the axial tomographic plane using a computer by multiple measurements from several hundred projections during a single rotation of 360º. ...
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... In many cases, the combination of the two processes led to exceptional preservation of corpse like the mummies in the Capuchin Catacombs in Palermo of the nineteenth and early twentieth century [9]. Between these mummies the corpse of the 2-year-old, Rosalia Lombardo, dead probably of bronchopneumonia in 1920 and preserved with a formaldhehyde-based endovascular and intracavity treatment, is an anthropogenic mummy studied with multidetector CT [9,10]. In our case for 21 years the body of Saint Leopold was located in a closed space (chapel) of a cemetery, that was partially affected by the atmospheric conditions of the city of Padova, characterized by freezing winter and summers with high temperatures and high relative humidity. ...
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... Paleoradiology is the study of bioarchaeological materials using modern imaging methods such as X-ray radiography, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging, and micro-CT (Cheem and Brothwell, 2008). CT has developed into the "gold-standard" for human mummy studies due to its high spatial resolution, image contrast, various post-processing modalities, and non-destructive nature (Beckett, 2014;Lynnerup, 2007;O'Brien et al., 2009;Öhrström et al., 2013Panzer et al., 2013a). ...
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The authors report on the assessment of an anthropogenic mummy of a young man from the Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily, tentatively dated from the mid- to late 19th century AD. The mummy was investigated by full-body CT examination. CT images clearly showed aortic dissection classified as Stanford-A. Due to the relation of aortic dissection to inherited connective tissue diseases in young people, such as Marfan syndrome, conspicuous and pathological findings possibly indicating the presence of underlying Marfan syndrome were assessed. Several systemic features were scored that supported the presence of underlying Marfan syndrome in this mummy. These findings were: pectus carinatum and chest asymmetry, dural ectasia, protrusio acetabuli, dolichocephaly, down-slanting palpebral fissures, malar hypoplasia and (probable) reduced elbow extension. Aortic dissection, a cardinal feature of Marfan syndrome, turned out to be the diagnostic key for the paleoradiological diagnosis of this disease. The demonstrated CT findings contribute to the spectrum of cardiovascular diseases and inherited connective tissue disease in the fields of paleopathology and paleoradiology.
... The specific focus is the "work of the dead" performed by the mummies in the Capuchin Catacombs in Palermo, Sicily, with special attention to the child mummy, Rosalia Lombardo, whose recent, singular treatment invites detailed analysis. After undergoing intensive scientific investigation in the first decade of the twenty-first century (Panzer, Rosendahl, Zink, & Piombino-Mascali, 2013;Panzer, Zink, & Piombino-Mascali, 2010), Rosalia's casket was moved to a new location in the Catacombs and put on special display. In my view, Rosalia's treatment is a concrete expression of how the Capuchin mummies are engaged in changing forms of ideological "work." ...
... The Project's publications fall firmly in the hard sciences and assume the goals, methodologies and investigative technologies relevant to scientific disciplines. Dubbed a "precious bioanthropological resource" (Piombino-Mascali et al., 2012, p. 341), the mummies have been investigated as repositories of significant quantifiable biological data, both the mummies themselves (Panzer et al., 2013(Panzer et al., , 2010Sineo et al., 2008) and their physical environments (Piñar, Maixner, Zink, & Sterlflinger, 2013;Piñar et al., 2014). This research shows scant interest in social meaning; indeed, a short section on Robert Hertz's notion of secondary burial (1907/1978]), included in the initial report (Sineo et al., 2008, p. 26-27) and cited in several subsequent publications (Piombino-Mascali et al., 2012, pp. ...
... Perhaps owing to his early training in anthropology, (University of Pisa: MA Anthropology 2002, PhD Physical Anthropology 2007), his academic work on Sicilian mummies has been broader in disciplinary scope than that of his colleagues. Beyond his involvement in paleopathological investigations of the mummies (Panzer et al., 2013(Panzer et al., , 2010 and reports on the Sicily Mummy Project , Piombino-Mascali et al., 2012Sineo et al., 2008), Piombino-Mascali has published popular (2009,2008) and expert (2009) publications on a uniquely Sicilian contribution to the history of modern medical science, namely, the development of embalming practices in the twentieth century. Indeed, he was instrumental in the rediscovery of the embalming formula of local chemist, Alfredo Salafia . ...
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... Soft tissues may include foreign bodies and materials as a result of anthropogenic mummification procedures, indicating mortuary practices and burial rites (Gostner et al., 2013;Hawass et al., 2012;Lynnerup, 2010;Panzer et al., 2010;Wade et al., 2012). Furthermore, soft tissue remains may reveal pathologies of single structures or allow the diagnosis of systemic diseases, and in rare cases indicate the possible cause of death (Aufderheide, 2000;D'Anastasio et al., 2010;Gostner et al., 2011;Haas et al., 2015;Hawass et al., 2012;Murphy et al., 2003;Nerlich et al., 1997;Panzer et al., 2014;Panzer et al., 2013a;Piombino-Mascali et al., 2014;Thompson et al., 2013, Zink et al., 2004. ...
... In general, preserved soft tissues were detectable in their approximate anatomical positions as relatively hyperdense structures with shrinkage of different degrees, as previously described (Hübener and Pahl, 1981;Murphy et al., 2003;Panzer et al., 2015;Panzer et al., 2014;Panzer et al., 2013a;Previgliano et al., 2003;Rühli et al., 2004;Rühli, 2000). Checkpoints from category A that mainly represent connective tissue in terms of tendons, ligaments, cartilage, dura mater, and the fibrous anulus of intervertebral discs retained their basic appearance in CT examinations, as dehydration during the mummification process caused only minor changes in shape and structure. ...
... The addition of mercury (atomic number = 80) in some cases might have contributed to the radio-density of these fluids because of its relatively high atomic number (Marinozzi and Fornaciari, 2005;Panzer et al., 2010). At the beginning of the 20th century, Professor Alfredo Salafia started to use a formaldehyde-based solution for intra-arterial filling, which is also not discernible on CT images because of its rather low attenuation coefficient (Panzer et al., 2013a;Piombino-Mascali et al., 2009). However, hyperdense structures inside big vessels such as the aorta, and inside the heart chambers (mean, 628 Hounsfield Units, HU), could be interpreted as remnants of dried preservative fluid, which did not dissolve because of the high volume of the fluid introduced during embalming, or due to the large diameters of the vessels concerned and the heart chambers (Panzer et al., 2013a). ...
Article
In this study we applied the recently developed "Checklist and Scoring System for the Assessment of Soft Tissue Preservation in Human Mummies" to catacomb mummies from Palermo, Sicily. Data from twenty-three full-body computed tomography (CT) examinations were available. These consisted of seventeen adults and six children dating from the late 18th to the late 19th centuries AD. Seventeen of these mummies were anthropogenically mummified, and six spontaneously. Based on the checklist and scoring system, soft tissue preservation varied between both mummification groups, among mummies with the same type of mummification, and within individual mummies at different anatomical locations. Checkpoints of the main category "A. Soft Tissues of Head and Musculoskeletal System" were clearly more frequent than checkpoints of the main category "B. Organs and Organ Systems". Among the anthropogenic mummies, intra-arterial filling achieved the highest preservation status of organs and organ systems. Despite the small sample size, the statistical evaluation showed significant differences between mummification types, with the highest soft tissue preservation found in anthropogenic mummies. Application of the "Checklist" allowed a standardized assessment and documentation of the soft tissue preservation of these mummies. The "Scoring System" facilitated a comparison among mummification groups and mummies by means of numeric values.
... The bones of the postcranial skeleton were measured according to the standard osteometric program. The method of certain measurements of the bones of the skeleton was based on the rules described in the work [10]. The main osteometric form with the results of measurements of the postcranial skeleton is shown in Table 3. shortened upper limbs in relation to the lower extremities. ...
... The phenetic description was based on the schemes proposed in the work of V.P. Alekseev "Osteometry" [10]. Тhe muscular relief on the brachial bone is generally has an average level of development. ...
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This work presents the results of complex paleoanthropological research using the method of computed tomography of the ancient Egyptian mummy, stored in the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts (Moscow, Russia) (Inv. No. I,1a 5301). According to the inventory, this is a mummy of Khor-ha, which dates from the VII-IV centuries BC. Over the mummy of Khor-kha lies a grid of blue faience beads, characteristic of the Late period of Egyptian history. For magnetic resonance scanning, Siemens Magnetom Verio magnetic field strength 3 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used. Further, measurements of the skeleton were made on the frames. It was found that a number of morphological features of the pelvis and skull of the individual was a woman, her age was about 25 years. The skull of the mummy is close to the average size of the horizontal circle and transverse arc. A number of measurements suggest a medium-high skull. The sagittal arc is large for women, that is, the skull is quite elongated. Form of the cranium when viewed from above pentagonic, that is, the greatest width of the skull is shifted back. The facial part of the skull is narrow and relatively high. On the scales of the frontal bone has overgrown metopic suture. Unusually strong for women’s development have the upper nuchal line (linea nuchae superior), which represent the massive structure. In vivo body length amounted to about 158 cm. relatively shortened upper extremities and especially the forearm. For this individual is characterized by a pronounced graceful skeleton of hands and feet. Muscle relief is moderately developed in general.