Life and Death in Ancient Egypt: Biomedical Analysis of Mummies and Canopic Jars


Thursday, October 17, 2019, 6:00pm


Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Canopic Jar being scanned for content.

Free Public Lecture

Frank Rühli, Professor, Founding Chair, and Director, Institute of Evolutionary Medicine, University of Zurich

Egyptian mummies and the remains found in ancient canopic jars can now be studied in great detail using noninvasive medical imaging techniques such as X-rays and computerized tomography, and chemical analysis using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. Drawing from interdisciplinary research conducted in the Valley of the Kings and Egyptian museum collections, Frank Rühli will discuss the value of using state-of-the-art technologies for understanding the life conditions, pathologies, death, and mummification procedures of ancient Egyptians. He will also address ethical concerns associated with these research methods and future research possibilities.

Free event parking at the 52 Oxford Street Garage

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About the Speaker:

Frank Rühli, M.D., Ph.D. is Founding Chair (Full Professor) and Director of the Institute of Evolutionary Medicine at the University of Zurich where he is a member of both the Medical Faculty and the Science Faculty. His research interests encompass paleopathology (particularly in mummies), evolutionary medicine, anatomy, academic governance, and health policy. He has (co-) authored ca. 200 scientific publications, and serves in multiple professional organizations, editorial boards, and political organizations. Professor Rühli holds also an Executive M.B.A. degree and serves as a lieutenant colonel responsible for Medical Scenarios, Staff Operative Training, Swiss Armed Forces. He is an Honorary Visiting Professor at the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University Singapore and an Honorary Adjunct Professor at the Adelaide Medical School, The University of Adelaide, Australia. He has been a research associate in the Human Evolutionary Biology Department, Harvard University, and a visiting full professor at the Institute of Global Health, University of Geneva.