S-Space College of Medicine/School of Medicine (의과대학/대학원) Anatomy (해부학전공) Journal Papers (저널논문_해부학전공)
Acute traumatic death of a 17th century general based on examination of mummified remains found in Korea
- Issue Date
- ELSEVIER GMBH, URBAN & FISCHER VERLAG
- ANNALS OF ANATOMY-ANATOMISCHER ANZEIGER; Vol.191(3); 309-320
- Recently, we examined one of the most perfectly preserved mummies of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) ever found in Korea. The individual was an elderly man and a high-ranking general. who had lived sometime during the 16th or 17th century in Korea. When computerized tomography (CT) radiographs were taken, a fracture tine was observed on the left side of the mandible. A post-factum dissection also provided crucial clues to the cause of death. First of all, blood clots were stilt evident at the fracture site, indicating that the mandibular fracture had occurred just before death. Second, we also found feces exclusively in the sigmoid colon or rectum, but not in the stomach, small intestine or colon. This told us that our subject had not eaten anything during his final 2 days (even though there was no indication that he would have had any difficulty eating during that time). Therefore, we presume that this case might not be one of chronic or wasting disease, but rather a case of sudden death. By virtue of the varied specialties of the researchers involved in this study, we were able to piece together a partly very clear and partly very plausible story for our 17th century mummy subject. Considering the high level of preservation of remains and artifacts found in time soil mixture barrier (LSMB) tombs, not to mention the rich supplementary information available from historical documents, similarly successful studies are promised in forthcoming days and years.
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