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Charlier P.,UFR of Health science UVSQ | Poupon J.,University Lariboisiere Hospital | Jeannel G.F.,International Flavors and Fragrances Inc. | Favier D.,International Flavors and Fragrances Inc. | And 5 more authors.
Medicine, Science and the Law | Year: 2015

During the Middle Ages and Renaissance, embalming the cadaver of the elite was common practice, being a highly technical treatment mixing vegetal and mineral substances. To assess the exact kind of embalming reserved for the dead body (with the practical necessities of desiccation and good odour), we performed a full biomedical analysis of the mummified remains of John Plantagenet of Lancaster, first Duke of Bedford, regent of France for his nephew, the English King Henri VI (died 1435 AD). Here, we show, among other aspects, that the body was embalmed using substances whose origins were in apothecary and botany: mercury, myrtle, mint, frankincense, lime and, possibly, cinnamon and copper. © 2015, © The Author(s) 2015.

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