www.mybaycity.com October 20, 2006
Health/Fitness Article 1326

Cor-Labs EPI process will upgrade the mummification process of preservation of the human body for posterity.

Corcoran Labs to Provide Plastinization of Bodies for Funeral Purposes

LSU Study Explores Ancient Mummification Processes Used by Egyptians

October 20, 2006
By: Dave Rogers

A process of preservation of the human body for posterity that harkens back to the Egyptians is being perfected in Michigan and will soon be widely available.

Daniel P. Corcoran, former Bay Cityan, now of Traverse City, has established Eternal Preservation, Inc., (EPI), and has posted information about the process on http://www.funeralwire.com, a source of funeral industry news.

"Since the invention of embalming the human body has anything more revolutionary been accomplished than preserving the human body forever," says Corcoran, adding:

"Eternal Preservation Incorporated (EPI) is licensed by Corcoran Laboratories, Inc., to use the patented chemicals and processes, for the life of the patents, developed by Dow Corning Corporation of Midland, Michigan to preserve anatomical tissue. These patents are licensed to Corcoran Laboratories, Inc. as a sole worldwide licensee and shall not be used by any party without the written permission of Corcoran Laboratories, Inc.

The firm was originally established in Bay City with offices on Johnson Court and moved to Traverse City a few years ago.

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"EPI will preserve the whole human body (organs, hair, skin, skeleton, brain, etc.) in the state the body was in at the time of death. EPI will do this by polymer preserving the body by the patented chemicals and processes licensed by Dow Corning Corporation to Corcoran Laboratories, Inc. EPI has established an opportunity for individuals that wish to have the ultimate in a preservation for burial that is not available or can be found anywhere else in the world today."

This process to preserve an individual is by polymer preservation, or more commonly known as "plastination". Our chemicals that we use from Dow Corning are the only ones we know of at this time that will preserve a whole human body with the skin intact. The process can take from three to six months, said Corcoran.

Information on EPI is available at http://www.cor-labs.com

Meanwhile, an academic study at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, sheds light on processes and flaws in the ancient Egyptian process of body preservation.

"Mummification can preserve a body for several millennia, but it is a popular misconception that these bodies are in pristine condition," wrote Ellen Salter-Pedersen in a thesis for a master of arts degree in Geography and Anthropology at LSU.

The activities of tomb robbers, archaeological excavation and transportation, and the embalming process itself may damage the body. This thesis examines published reports on Egyptian mummies from museums in the United States, Europe, and Egypt.

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Mummification is the process of preservation of a body after death generally by the rapid removal of water from the tissues. A mummy can be either natural or artificial, but it must have its soft tissue preserved. While mummified remains can be found on all inhabited continents, Egypt is the source of the "original" mummies and perhaps the most famous ones. "The word 'mummy' will always connote Egypt and an Egyptian invention, in spite of the fact that in the land where it originated mummification is now unknown," wrote Salter-Pederson, citing expert sources.

The study of physical anthropology within Egyptology has seen a change in what analyses are deemed important. The first scholarly publication on mummies was History of Egyptian Mummies by Thomas Joseph in 1834. Early reports usually focused on the Royal mummies, particularly their anatomy and the mummification process, or their funerary objects. Recent studies are also interested in both the kings as well as the commoners, but the studies still focus on the level of the individual and avoid making conclusions regarding the mummies as a collection.

Some experts estimated that if everyone in Egypt had been mummified in the two thousand years when mummification was practiced, over fifty million mummies would have been produced. Not everyone in Egypt would have been mummified, but even if only one percent of the population had been, over 500,000 mummies should exist.

"To date, I have been able to account for less than 1,000 complete mummies, although there are countless fragmented remains," continued Salter-Pedersen, adding: "Moreover, the remaining mummies are often in poor condition. Many mummies show signs of deterioration or damage due to natural processes, the disruption of their burial, or robbers.

Indeed, much of the damage to the Royal mummies has been attributed to the activities of tomb robbers: the author concluded: "not time but the extensive grave robberies in all periods of ancient Egypt caused the greatest damage to the mummified remains of the kings and queens."

This thesis seeks to expand upon this statement by examining the postmortem damage to mummies to determine if patterns exist.

Data on 275 Egyptian mummies were collected and examined for patterns in the type and location of postmortem damage. These patterns were subsequently compared with the historic periods, geographical regions, social class and the presence or absence of coffins, cartonnage, amulets, and antemortem pathologies. The results do show relationships between the cause of the postmortem damage and the geographic locations, historic periods, and social class. Conversely, no relationship is observed between the postmortem damage and antemortem pathologies, amulets, and protective casings. These results offer insight into the mummification process and the activities of the tomb robbers through the postmortem damage the mummies incurred.

Click Here to see the entire report. (Open Electronic Thesis file.)

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