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Extra resources for Mummy Congress the (Glassbook)

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They turn up in a predictable order. First come the carrion flies, such as the aptly named Sarcophagidae, or flesh flies, and Calliphoridae, or blowflies. They light on the body and lay tiny eggs in wounds, gaping mouths, and other available openings. These hatch within two or three days into writhing maggots that often move together as a teeming pack through the body, feeding on flesh. Then the Dermestids and other beetles appear. To liquefy flesh so that they can feed, both the carrion flies and beetles exude a battery of powerful enzymes.

Qrk 4/6/01 3:12 PM Page 17 THE CONGRESS their own savings, few mummy experts can resist. A major book contract, after all, can subsidize much valuable new research. ) A vitriolic battle is almost inevitable after every major find, as researchers jockey for control and clash over the extent of media access. Acrimonious as these rivalries can be, they were not the only flash points in Arica. An even more divisive controversy effectively separated the congress into two politely warring camps. On the surface, the debate hinged on the rightness or wrongness of something that mummy experts had once taken for granted: mummy autopsies or dissections.

CLIMBING UP A stepladder, camera in hand, Aufder- heide clicked away at the tightly wrapped mummy. Then he was ready to get down to business. He brought the bundle back inside and slipped the blade of his Swiss Army knife under the first few layers of bandages covering the mummy’s chest. Lifting up, he ripped the ancient cloth, showering the table with particles of ancient linen. He dug in a little deeper and ripped again. Then he tried yanking the severed edges of the upper layers apart. It was hard, dirty, scrabbling work, nothing at all like the smooth unraveling one might expect.

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