Radiological and histological findings in ancient salt mummies from the salt mine of Douzlakh, Iran

Öhrström, L.M. and Marquez, H. and Seiler, R. and Bode, B. and Aali, A. and Stöllner, T. and Rühli, F.J.

Volume: 16 Pages:
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0250745
Published: 2021

Computed tomography studies and histological analyses were performed on the mummified remains found in the Chehrabad salt mine in northwestern Iran. The ancient salt mummies are dated to the Achaemenid (550-330 BC) and Sassanid (3rd-7th century AD) time period and died in mining incidents. The aim of the study was to describe the radiological and histological findings of several ancient Iranian salt mummies with special interest in pathological and postmortem changes. The mummified remains show multiple traumatic alterations, such as fractures and signs of massive compression. Histological analyses can clearly differentiate soft tissue, however the preservation status is variable. These Iranian salt mummies are a rare example of the ancient Iranian population. The soft tissue and organs are well preserved, however in different degrees due to the varying conditions. © 2021Öhrström et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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