A Lost Sleeping Beauty- New Mummy Formula Found
This isn’t quite a recent article (2009) but I always thought it was a very intesesting article, with an attention grabbing picture. This is Rosalia Lombardo, a two-year-old Sicilian girl who died of pneumonia in 1920. “Sleeping Beauty,” as she’s known, appears to be merely dozing beneath the glass front of her coffin in the Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Italy. Her father was so greived over her death that he approached Alfredo Salafia, a noted taxidermist, to preserve her. Scientists in 2009 finally discovered the secret to preserving her body so well. Piombino-Mascali tracked down living relatives of Alfredo Salafia, a Sicilian taxidermist and embalmer who died in 1933, who was suspected of embalming Rosalia. She is considered the world’s best preserved body, and is often referred to as “a sleeping doll”- hence, her nickname “Sleeping Beauty.” X-rays of her organs show that even they are still intact.
A search of Salafia’s papers revealed a handwritten memoir in which he recorded the chemicals he injected into Rosalia’s body: formalin, zinc salts, alcohol, salicylic acid, and glycerin. Formalin is already widely used by embalmers, as is salicylic acid and glycerin. The zinc salts are the new product. Salafia was one of the first to use this combination of formulas, and the first to use zinc salts. This practice opened up many new techniques since 2009 for the mummification of bodies. The zinc gave rigidity to her body. However, zinc salts are typically not used in the United States anymore. Why do you guys think this is? The article does not mention anything about the reason why. Perhaps people in these modern days do not want their relatives bodies preserved so rigidly? I think this article is so interesting because it is amazing what a few chemicals can do to preserve human remains so near perfectly.