‘Mummies around the World’ now available for preorder


I’m pleased to announce that my mummy encyclopedia is now available for preorder from the publisher, and also from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and elsewhere. The scheduled publication date is November 30.

From the official publisher’s description:

Perfect for school and public libraries, this is the only reference book to combine pop culture with science to uncover the mystery behind mummies and the mummification phenomena.

Mortality and death have always fascinated humankind. Civilizations from all over the world have practiced mummification as a means of preserving life after death — a ritual which captures the imagination of scientists, artists, and laypeople alike. This comprehensive encyclopedia focuses on all aspects of mummies: their ancient and modern history; their scientific study; their occurrence around the world; the religious and cultural beliefs surrounding them; and their roles in literary and cinematic entertainment.

Author and horror guru Matt Cardin brings together 130 original articles written by an international roster of leading scientists and scholars to examine the art, science, and religious rituals of mummification throughout history. Through a combination of factual articles and topical essays, this book reviews cultural beliefs about death; the afterlife; and the interment, entombment, and cremation of human corpses in places like Egypt, Europe, Asia, and Central and South America. Additionally, the book covers the phenomenon of natural mummification, where environmental conditions result in the spontaneous preservation of human and animal remains.

Here’s an excerpt (slightly condensed) from my introduction to the book:

The question of human mortality and how to deal with it is as old as recorded history. It is therefore unsurprising that the subject of mummies has arguably exerted a more enduring influence on the human imagination than any other topic, subject, or figure in history. In preparing the bodies of the dead to resist corruption, and in viewing and studying bodies that have been thus preserved, and in producing and consuming works of art and entertainment about such things, we engage directly with the most primal beliefs, questions, fears, and hopes of the human race. Mummies are part of our cultural and psychological DNA.

Mummies around the World: An Encyclopedia of Mummies in Religion, History, and Popular Culture explains and explores the significance of this fact by painting a vivid and detailed picture of mummies from prehistory to the present. It is thus not only about mummies but about ourselves — what we have collectively believed, hoped, and feared. Mummies have always been with us, and today we turn to them with ever more advanced and refined methods of asking them questions and learning their deep secrets. For those who are willing to listen, mummies have a great deal to tell us about the oldest and deepest mysteries of life, death, and our primordial fear and desire for what lies beyond both.

And here’s the list of contributors with abbreviated bios (the full versions of which will appear in the book):

  • Dr. Alessia Amenta is Curator of the Ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern Antiquities Department at the Vatican Museum.
  • Bernardo Arriaza is the director of the Instituto de Alta Investigación, Universidad de Tarapacá, in Arica, Chile.
  • Peter Bebergal is the author of Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock ‘n’ Roll and Too Much to Dream: A Psychedelic American Boyhood.
  • Dr. Ron Beckett is Professor Emeritus of Biomedical Sciences and Co-Founder/Director of the Bioanthropology Research Institute at Quinnipiac University.
  • Andrew Bednarski is an historian and Egyptologist who works for the American Research Center in Egypt.
  • Anna-Maria Begerock is head of Andean Archaeology at the Spanish Institute of Mummy Studies (IECIM) in Madrid, Spain.
  • Richard Bleiler is the Humanities Librarian at the University of Connecticut’s Homer Babbidge Library.
  • Bob Brier is an American Egyptologist specializing in paleopathology and a prominent media figure in the area of mummies.
  • Roselyn Campbell received a B.A. and an M.A. in anthropology from the University of Montana and is currently earning her Ph.D. at the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA.
  • Matt Cardin is an author, editor, independent scholar, and college English instructor living in Central Texas. His work focuses on the intersection of religion, horror, the paranormal, creativity, consciousness, and culture.
  • Jenefer Anne Cockitt has studied ancient Egyptian mummies since 2001 and has completed a Ph.D. in Biomedical Egyptology at The University of Manchester focusing on the radiocarbon dating of ancient Egyptian artifacts.
  • Gerald Conlogue is a professor of Diagnostic Imaging and Co-Director of the Bioanthropology Research Institute at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut.
  • Della Collins Cook is Professor of Anthropology at Indiana University.
  • Dr. Aidan Dodson is a Senior Research Fellow in Archaeology at the University of Bristol, UK, and was Simpson Professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo for Spring 2013.
  • Stefan R. Dziemianowicz is a senior editor at Barnes & Noble, Inc. and the editor of numerous articles, reviews, and anthologies of horror fiction.
  • Dr. Jonathan Elias is the Director of the Akhmim Mummy Studies Consortium.
  • Dr. Heather Gill-Frerking has been studying aspects of mummies and mummification since 1991. She has worked with a collection of bog bodies in northern Germany and examined and analyzed mummies from South America, Egypt, and Asia.
  • Paula Guran is an anthologist and fiction editor, primarily for Prime Books, who once reviewed, interviewed, and wrote nonfiction articles for publications in the fantasy, horror, and science fiction fields.
  • Michael E. Habicht is a researcher at the University of Zurich’s Centre for Evolutionary Medicine specializing in the New Kingdom, Egyptian funerary art, tomb decoration, and mummies.
  • Salima Ikram is professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo. She has participated extensively in mummy-related projects around the world.
  • Rimantas Jankauskas, M.D., Ph.D., is a Professor at the Department of Anatomy, Histology and Anthropology, Vilnius University, Lithuania.
  • John J. Johnston is Vice-Chair of the Egypt Exploration Society. He lectures extensively on the reception of ancient Egypt in popular culture.
  • S. T. Joshi is a widely published author and editor in the fields of horror, supernatural fiction, atheism, and agnosticism.
  • Alexandra R. Klales, M.S. (University of Manitoba), is a doctoral candidate at the University of Manitoba specializing in biological anthropology. She is an associate of the Akhmim Mummy Studies Consortium in Carlisle, PA.
  • Roger Luckhurst is Professor of Literature at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is the author of The Mummy’s Curse: The True History of a Dark Fantasy.
  • Carter Lupton is head of the Anthropology/History departments of the Milwaukee Public Museum. He is also Associate Director of the Akhmim Mummy Studies Association.
  • Jo Marchant is a science journalist and author with a Ph.D. in genetics. She is the author of The Shadow King: The Bizarre Afterlife of King Tut’s Mummy.
  • Robert McCombe is a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Manchester.
  • Lidija McKnight is a Research Associate in the KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology, University of Manchester.
  • Ryan Metcalfe works at The University of Manchester, UK, and has lectured on and researched a variety of subjects related to Biomedical Egyptology.
  • Gabriel Moshenska is Lecturer in Public Archaeology at UCL Institute of Archaeology.
  • Kenneth C. Nystrom is an Associate Professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz. He has published several papers about the Chachapoya, including a consideration of their mummification and funerary behavior.
  • Mike Parker Pearson is Professor of British Later Prehistory at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. He is well known for his work on funerary archaeology.
  • Dario Piombino-Mascali, Ph.D., serves as honorary inspector of the cultural heritage of Sicily and as curator of the Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo. He is a visiting scientist at Vilnius University and an explorer with the National Geographic Society.
  • Campbell Price is Curator of Egypt and Sudan at the Manchester Museum.
  • June Pulliam teaches courses on horror literature and Young Adult fiction at Louisiana State University and has published many books and articles about horror and science fiction in popular culture.
  • Frank Rühli (MD, PhD) is Professor of Anatomy and head of the Center for Evolutionary Medicine and the Swiss Mummy Project, University of Zurich, Switzerland.
  • Carolyn Shefcyk is a graduate student at the University of Saint Joseph pursuing a master’s degree and certification in elementary education.
  • Bryan Sitch is Deputy Head of Collections at the Manchester University Museum and has worked in museums in northern England for over twenty years.
  • Marissa Stevens is a Ph.D. student of Egyptology at UCLA.
  • Richard Sugg is the author of five books, including Mummies, Cannibals and Vampires: the History of Corpse Medicine from the Renaissance to the Victorians.
  • Andrew Wade is an anthropological bioarchaeologist, co-developer of the IMPACT Mummy Database, and founder of the Mummipedia Project.
  • Emily Webb is an archaeological scientist who received her doctoral degree from the University of Western Ontario, London, Canada.
  • Albert Zink is director of the Institute for Mummies and the Iceman in Bolzano, Italy.

About Matt Cardin


Posted on May 9, 2014, in Arts & Entertainment, Religion & Philosophy, Science & Technology and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Is there a chapter on the mummification of 20th century political leaders? I recently saw Ho Chi Minh’s embalmed body in Hanoi and it seemed to me that the old Egyptian principle was still at work.

    • There is no entry on political leaders as such (and Ho Chi Minh’s embalmed body isn’t mentioned), but there’s an entire separate entry on Lenin’s preserved/mummified body. And (slightly tangential to your question) the mummification of political leaders in general is touched upon in, e.g., an entry titled “Mummies of Europe.”

  2. Congratulations! It seems a very interesting work with the contribution of the greatest in the field. Looking forward to reading it!

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