PMID: 7069021Feb 1, 1982

Ultrastructure of skin and hair of an Egyptian mummy. Transmission and scanning electron microscopic observations

Journal of Cutaneous Pathology
H HinoG Asboe-Hansen


The skin of a female Egyptian mummy, embalmed 100-300 A.D., was studied by transmission and scanning electron microscopy. After rehydration with cacodylate buffer containing sucrose, the ordinary technique for transmission electron microscopy was performed on skin of the right shoulder. In epidermal cells, mitochondria and their cristae were identified. Between epidermal cells, desmosomes, half the normal size, were found. In the dermis, collagen bundles and elastic fibres were observed. The collagen fibres had a diameter of 67-91 nm, and the band pattern showed 10-12 sub-bands per one period of 55-61 nm length. The elastic fibres had less amorphous substance than normal and a fibrillar beaded pattern. The dermal components of the skin were well preserved in spite of the mummification. Throughout the dermis and the subcutaneous fatty tissue, a number of bacterial spores were found showing a characteristic appearance. Scanning electron microscopy of hairs showed a layer of the preserving material surrounding hairs, and under it a normal cuticle was seen.


Jul 1, 1978·International Journal of Dermatology·K Hashimoto
Jun 1, 1968·Archives of Dermatology·L Giacometti, B Chiarelli
Jan 28, 1967·Nature·P K Lewin
Nov 1, 1955·Stain Technology·A T SANDISON
Jan 1, 1964·The Journal of Investigative Dermatology·O BRAUN-FALCO, M RUPEC


Apr 2, 2010·Proceedings. Biological Sciences·Marek JankoRobert W Stark
May 22, 2004·Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology·Eve Judith Lowenstein
Oct 26, 2006·Journal of Anatomy·Byung Soo ChangDong Hoon Shin
Nov 30, 2007·American Journal of Physical Anthropology·Niels Lynnerup
Oct 23, 2019·Journal of Anatomy·Fulvio BarbaroRoberto Toni

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