PUBLIC TALK: What Egyptian Mummies tell us about the History of the Nile
|What Egyptian Mummies tell us about the History of the Nile
A public lecture by Christophe Lécuyer, Laboratoire de Géologie de Lyon - Terre Planètes, Environnement, Université Claude Bernard Lyon, France and 2016 UWA Gledden Visiting Fellow.
Samples of tooth enamel and bone have been obtained from Egyptian human and animal mummies that cover the Predynastic (5,500 years BP) to Byzantine periods (1,500 years BP). Mummy teeth and bones record the ratio of stable oxygen isotopes (18O and 16O) of their drinking water, which was ultimately the Nile River water. These samples are able to tell us many things about the history of the Nile, for example, variations in this stable isotope ratio reflect changes in precipitation patterns over the source regions of the Blue and White Nile. A progressive increase of the 18O/16O ratios of mummy skeletal remains indicates a precipitation decrease of about 140 mm per year while mean air temperatures remained rather constant.
Attendance is free but RSVP requested through the website.
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