International alliance to unlock secrets of Egyptian mummies

May 18, 2005

Two world-renowned teams of experts on Egyptian mummies have joined forces in an international effort to better understand disease and its treatment in ancient Egypt.
The University of Manchester's Centre for Biomedical Egyptology and Cairo's National Research Center have signed a formal agreement to enhance future academic research and teaching in the field.

The Manchester-Cairo alliance will promote cooperation between the two institutions by supporting joint research activities and encouraging visits and exchanges by their staff and students.

"This is a unique opportunity to work with Egypt's foremost, scientific-research institution and share our expertise," said Professor Rosalie David, head of Egyptian-mummy studies in Manchester.

"By creating this partnership we hope to be able to shed more light on the diseases and ailments that afflicted the ancient Egyptians, and on the medical treatments used thousands of years ago."

One of the initial joint studies will be the first scientifically-based identification of the therapeutic elements of the medicines used by the ancient Egyptians.

Members of both teams will also investigate the craniofacial characteristics of ancient Egyptian skulls dating back some 5,000 years - to the time when the earliest pyramids were built.

Researchers will also pursue a study of disease patterns, including schistosomiasis, a debilitating parasitic disease that the Manchester group has been studying for several years.

The relationship was proposed by the President of the National Research Center, Professor Hany El-Nazer, and follows a visit to the Cairo Center by six members of the Manchester team in January.

During the 10-day visit Manchester experts took part in a workshop on the biological evaluation of human remains from ancient Egypt, giving lectures and leading discussions with staff and postgraduate students from universities and museums in Egypt.

"The workshop was an excellent opportunity for the two groups to discuss their current research projects and to share their knowledge with others," added Professor David.

Source: University of Manchester

Explore further: Human ancestors could hold the key to early diagnosis of bone disease

Related Stories

Fabulous figurines reveal secrets of ancient Africa

October 23, 2013

( —Secrets of sixty remarkable clay figurines - up to 1,400-years-old and excavated by archaeologists from The Universities of Ghana and Manchester, and the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB)– are to be ...

Ancient Egypt and a pioneer of palaeopathology

March 15, 2011

At the start of the last century, a team of archaeologists began a race against the clock to rescue thousands of human bodies from ancient graves in modern Egypt’s Lower Nubia region. They would have been lost forever ...

Scientists suggest that cancer is purely man-made

October 14, 2010

( -- Cancer is a modern, man-made disease caused by environmental factors such as pollution and diet, a study by University of Manchester scientists has strongly suggested.

Recommended for you

Internet giants race to faster mobile news apps

October 4, 2015

US tech giants are turning to the news in their competition for mobile users, developing new, faster ways to deliver content, but the benefits for struggling media outlets remain unclear.

The dark side of Nobel prizewinning research

October 4, 2015

Think of the Nobel prizes and you think of groundbreaking research bettering mankind, but the awards have also honoured some quite unhumanitarian inventions such as chemical weapons, DDT and lobotomies.

Trade in invasive plants is blossoming

October 3, 2015

Every day, hundreds of different plant species—many of them listed as invasive—are traded online worldwide on auction platforms. This exacerbates the problem of uncontrollable biological invasions.

Fusion reactors 'economically viable' say experts

October 2, 2015

Fusion reactors could become an economically viable means of generating electricity within a few decades, and policy makers should start planning to build them as a replacement for conventional nuclear power stations, according ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.