Charcoal Extends Life of Dead People (?)
Charcoal not only helps preserve living people, it also helps preserve dead people.This section is from "The Domestic Encyclopaedia Vol1", by A. F. M. Willich ©1802. Amazon: The Domestic Encyclopaedia.
“Besides these various purposes to which charcoal is daily applied, it also promises to be of considerable service in medicine; on account of its absorbent and antiseptic properties. (See Breath, p. 335.) From a late account given by Dr. Metzler, an eminent physician in Germany, we quote the following extraordinary fact: The corpse of a person that had been murdered twelve days, was brought before a coroner's inquest, and, contrary to the expectation of the court, there was not the least mark of putrefaction, nor any offensive smell perceptible. On opening the intestines of the abdomen, they were found in an unity dry state. The cause of this phenomenon was soon discovered; for it appeared in the course of examination, that the body had been kept for the whole time buried in dry coals coarsely pounded, at least twelve inches deep. It was still more remarkable, "that the cartilaginous parts, especially those of the breast, had acquired a degree of softness, resembling that of butter." — We submit the application of this singular property to the discernment of our readers.”
One visitor to our website pointed us to a book about mummies*. According her report:
“A Chinese lady who died 2100 years ago was buried in a series of caskets within caskets, they were buried in five tons of charcoal (this is sort of hard to imagine, eh?), and then the whole deal was sealed with white clay. The charcoal was thought to soak up anything that seeped through the clay.”
Apparently she was as well preserved as Egyptian mummies buried in layers of sand and charcoal. This ritual of burrying the dead in large amounts of charcoal has been observed in different countries around the world. Hmmm, if charcoal works so well in preserving dead mummies, murder victims, and old laboratory rats, one wonders how well it might help those reading this article???
*Tales Mummies Tell, Scholastic Press, 1998, p. 22