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Much of this early experimentation with mummification in Egypt is unknown.The few documents that directly describe the mummification process date to the Greco-Roman period.The Spirit Cave mummies of Fallon, Nevada in North America were accurately dated at more than 9,400 years old.Before this discovery, the oldest known deliberate mummy was a child, one of the Chinchorro mummies found in the Camarones Valley, Chile, which dates around 5050 BC.The information presented at the meeting triggered a new surge of interest in the subject, with one of the major results being integration of biomedical and bioarchaeological information on mummies with existing databases.This was not possible prior to the Congress due to the unique and highly specialized techniques required to gather such data.The Medieval English term "mummy" was defined as "medical preparation of the substance of mummies", rather than the entire corpse, with Richard Hakluyt in 1599 AD complaining that "these dead bodies are the Mummy which the Phisistians and Apothecaries doe against our willes make us to swallow". The OED defines a mummy as "the body of a human being or animal embalmed (according to the ancient Egyptian or some analogous method) as a preparation for burial", citing sources from 1615 AD onward.

This discovery helped to dispel the claim within Herodotus' works that the rod had been a hook made of iron.By utilizing current advancements in technology, scientists have been able to uncover a plethora of new information about the techniques used in mummification.A series of CT scans performed on a 2,400-year-old mummy in 2008 revealed a tool that was left inside the cranial cavity of the skull.Spontaneous mummies, such as Ötzi, were created unintentionally due to natural conditions such as extremely dry heat or cold, or anaerobic conditions such as those found in bogs.While most individual mummies exclusively belong to one category or the other, there are examples of both types being connected to a single culture, such as those from the ancient Egyptian culture and the Andean cultures of South America.

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