MUMMIFICATION 143 Ash % Buttock, Mesentery, Ethereal extract % 0.4 7.35 0.7 80.0 UnsaponiSable matter % 231 48.7 No soap was found. The fatty matter obtained from the preservative spirit consisted of free fatty acids, viz. stearic and palmitic acids. No ammonia could be found. The ash from the tissues sent contained lime, soda and potash compounds. 9. MUMMIFICATION Tha, term, mummification, is applied to a peculiar desiccation of a dead body, whereby its soft parts shrivel up, but retain the natural appearance and even the features of the body. The skin is dry, leathery and rusty-Brown in colour, and adheres closely to the bones. Tike odour is more like that of old cheese than that of a decomposed body. The internal organs either disappear alto- gether, or blend together and get transformed into a thick mass of a dark-brown, dry substance, from which they cannot be sepa- rately distinguished, Miinomification occurs in bodies buried in shallow graves in the dry, sandy soils of Rajputana, Sind, and Baluchistan, where evaporation of the body fluids is very rapid owing to hot, dry winds prevailing in the summer season. It is observed also in the bodies of newly born infants kept perched up on trees, or rafters of a roof, as also in those kept closed in steel trunks. Chronic arsenic or antimony poisoning is! said to favour the process of mummification in dry, warm climates. Fig. 40.—A mummified body. (From a photograph lent kindly by Dr. G. B. Sahay.) Time of Mummification. — The time taken by a dead body to mummify is not exactly known, but it may be regarded as varying from three mqntljs to a year or two. method of mtimmifying or embalming dead bodies was known to the ancient Egyptians, and specimens of their mummies are to be found in the British Museum of London in a very well preserved condi- tion after thousands of years. At present it is resorted to in medical schools and colleges to preserve dead bodies for the purpose of dissection by inject- ing solutions of arsenic, lead sulphide_gnd^H^s§iim ca , _ femoral artery or into the aorta. The process has someSmes to be adopted when dead bodies have to be taken from one country to another for wrial, and Tjrben the time taken in transit is so much as would ordinarily putrefaction.