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Introducing...the Palermo Mummies (warning: graphic pictures)

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posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 10:27 AM
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[Greetings, ATS!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the topic, allow me to introduce you to the Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Italy.



The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo (also Catacombe dei Cappuccini or Catacombs of the Capuchins) are burial catacombs in Palermo, Sicily, southern Italy. Today they provide a somewhat macabre tourist attraction as well as an extraordinary historical record.

Palermo's Capuchin monastery outgrew its original cemetery in the 16th century and monks began to excavate crypts below it. In 1599 they mummified one of their number, recently-dead brother Silvestro of Gubbio, and placed him into the catacombs.

The bodies were dehydrated on the racks of ceramic pipes in the catacombs and sometimes later washed with vinegar. Some of the bodies were embalmed and others enclosed in sealed glass cabinets. Monks were preserved with their everyday clothing and sometimes with ropes they had worn as a penance.
source


I stumbled across the Palermo mummies while perusing the Internet, and was immediately fascinated. (If you are interested, you can read more about my philosophical journey in the thread Stalking Death

The Palermo Mummies are on display for tourists to walk through the Catacombs. As mentioned before, the catacombs were mainly for the monks, but eventuallly opened to laypeople. A visitor to the catacombs today will see bodies arranged on walls, resting in life-like poses, dressed in ecclesiastical garments and even holding various items.

From google images:







As you can see, the bodies are in various stages of mummification, with some bodies completely skeletonized.

Perhaps one of the most haunting mummy in the catacombs is that of two year old Rosalia Lombardio. Rosalia was born in 1918 and died of pneumonia in 1920. Her grieving father had her body embalmbed and placed in the Catacombs....in fact, Rosalia was one of the last burials allowed in the catacombs. Her body is so remarkably preserved that she is commonly referred to as the "Sleeping Beauty." Because the mummy of a young child maybe disturbing to many, I will not upload her photo. But you can see her at this link

If anyone has had the opportunity to visit the Palermo Mummies, I would love to know your take on things. Palermo is on my bucket list of places to visit someday, but since both my husband and I are school teachers, that might not happen until I'm ready to become a mummy myself.

ETA: Rosalia Lombardo "apparently" sometimes opens her eyes a little bit. I would assume this is related to physical circumstances in the catacombs, but if you are interested just google rosalia lombardo opens her eyes. Interesting time-elapsed videos.
smylee
edit on 22-4-2012 by smyleegrl because: (no reason given)

edit on 22-4-2012 by smyleegrl because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 10:56 AM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 

this is christian burial culture ? spooky.



posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 10:56 AM
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I know it a fascinating place. I saw an episode of 'Most Haunted' it was held over night in that place and in the dark it is quite scary.



posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 10:59 AM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


Very nice. Interesting read


Thanks OP



posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 11:22 AM
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Originally posted by icepack
reply to post by smyleegrl
 

this is christian burial culture ? spooky.



Its Christian in the sense that the monks were Christian. However, I do not think it is indicative of typical
medieval Christian burials. I'm not sure why the mummies were placed "on display" in such a manner.



posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 11:45 AM
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I was there in 1995 I think.

No photos allowed when I was there.

Creepy, yup. There charge a couple bucks to get in. Not expensive.

It was a very large area, huge, underground. The sleeping baby is near the end. She looks like she might wake up. No one knows the secret of how she was preserved.

K



posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 11:55 AM
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reply to post by kawika
 


from the wiki article posted by OP


Embalming

Thanks to Salafia's embalming techniques, the body was well-preserved. X-rays of the body show that all the organs are remarkably intact.[2] Rosalia Lombardo's body is kept in a small chapel at the end of the catacomb's tour and is encased in a glass covered coffin, placed on a marble pedestal. A 2009 National Geographic photograph of Rosalia Lombardo shows the mummy is beginning to show signs of decomposition, most notably discoloration.[3] To address these issues the mummy was moved to a new drier spot in the catacombs, and her original coffin was placed in a hermetically sealed glass enclosure with nitrogen gas to prevent decay.[4] The mummy is one of the best preserved bodies in the catacombs. [edit]

Technique

Recently, the mummification techniques used by Salafia were discovered in a handwritten memoir of Salafia's. Salafia replaced the girl's blood with a liquid made of formalin to kill bacteria, alcohol to dry the body, glycerin to keep her from overdrying, salicylic acid to kill fungi, and zinc salts to give her body rigidity.[5][6][7] Accordingly, the formula's composition is "one part glycerin, one part formalin saturated with both zinc sulfate and chloride, and one part of an alcohol solution saturated with salicylic acid."[8]

wiki

I'm surprised they were put on display, seems kinda sick.
When i'm dead, burn me up or put me 6 ft under!!!
edit on 22-4-2012 by lurker007 because: (no reason given)

edit on 22-4-2012 by lurker007 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 01:59 PM
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reply to post by lurker007
 


Hmmm, tour guide said the doc took the secret to the grave.

Found hand written notes, good find. I keep a notebook at work. The sewn binding kind.



posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 09:13 PM
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I visited in 1985. It was an extremely fascinating experience, as I had been to several Catacombs as well as done grave rubbings throughout Europe, this one was the most elaborate and well kept. Rosalia Lombardo was a beautiful little girl, you can see the love and care that was taken to prepare her.



posted on Aug, 27 2014 @ 01:51 AM
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I Just watched this recently uploaded video on Mummies. It's kind of Creepy, especially Rosalia Lombardo, the "Sleeping Beauty" Mummy.
Rosalia Lombardo, was an Italian child who died of pneumonia. Rosalia's father, Official Mario Lombardo, was sorely grieved upon her death, so he approached Alfredo Salafia, a noted embalmer, to preserve her.
Born: December 13, 1918, Palermo, Italy
Died: December 6, 1920, Palermo, Italy


www.youtube.com...
Rosalia opens her eyes several times every day - Is this Witchcraft?

edit on Wed2382201480 by Dingo80 because: (no reason given)



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