21 Aug 2016

Quiz 21 - 10 Questions on pickled or embalmed bodies

1.In the 11th-century Spanish hero El Cid, was embalmed and his body was kept seated on an ivory chair in the monastery of San Pedro de Cardena for a decade before burial. Similarly which well known king was embalmed and seated on a marble throne, dressed in imperial robes, with his crown on his head, the Gospels lying open in his lap, and his scepter in his hand at Aachen in Germany after his death ?

2. According to an Indian Epic, the body of which king was preserved in a Cauldron of oil, until the return of his son the crown prince ?

3. After the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C. in Babylon, his body was embalmed and was on its way to Macedonia for burial. Ptolemy however had other plans- he organized an attack against Alexander's funerary procession and intercepted the body of his former master which he then buried in Egypt. During all these years of fighting and bickering over Alexanders body, what edible item, which is mostly consumed by us today, was used to preserve Alexander's body?

4. Which English word has its origin in Persian for 'wax' ?

5. He is one of the most widely recognized Russian physician, scientist and public figure. He is considered to be the founder of field surgery and was the first surgeon to use anesthesia in a field operation (1847). Other than inventing various surgical equipments, he also invented an amputation technique that is today named after him. As a tribute to his achievements a glacier in Antarctica and an asteroid are named after him and so were various medical colleges and Soviet Unions highest humanitarian award. Anatomically too he is well remembered and various tendons, nerves and veins are named after him. When he died in 1881 his body was preserved using embalming techniques he himself developed and rests today  at Vinnitsa in Ukraine at room temperature without requiring any maintenance. Which well known Russian figure?

Google doodle on his 200th Birthday on November 25, 2010.

6.The Jivaro tribes of Ecuador and Peru took additional precaution to preserve the embalmed bodies of their chiefs, thus ensuring their immortality. What additional procedure, not practiced by any other culture did they follow ?

7. The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo is a macabre tourist attraction in Italy (The last I checked, Trip Advisor has given it a 'certificate of excellence' and  is Rated No 18 in Palermo.) There are shelfs, rooms and cases of dehydrated mummified bodies going back to many centuries. There was a time when it was a status symbol to be entombed into the Capuchin catacombs. The most well preserved among all the bodies in the catacombs is that of Rosalia Lombardo an Italian child who died of pneumonia. Her body was one of the last corpses to be admitted to the Capuchin catacombs in 1920.  Alfredo Salafia, a noted embalmer, worked on the body which has now been revealed to be a mixture of Formalin, Zinc, Glycerin and Salicylic acid. But what nickname, straight from a fairy tale, is Rosalia known to the residents of Palermo or to the tourists visiting the catacombs ?

8. In the Royal Navy, sucking the monkey, bleeding the monkey, or tapping the admiral was the practice of sucking liquor from a cask through a straw. This usually involved making a small hole with a gimlet in a keg or barrel and using a straw to suck out the contents. When this British hero died on board a ship, his body was preserved in a cask of brandy, or rum, to allow transport back to England. Upon arrival however, the cask was opened and found to be empty of brandy/rum. The pickled body was removed and, upon inspection, it was discovered that the sailors had drilled a hole in the bottom of the cask and drunk all the brandy/rum. Which personality ?

9. Grauballe man ,Tollund man and Lindow man are thousands of years old bodies, preserved in immaculate condition. Even the wrinkle on their skin are preserved. The preservation of these bodies is credited to which natural phenomenon?

10. During the Third Crusade, en-route to Jerusalem this well known Emperor drowned in the Saleph river (present day Turkey) sending his massive army into chaos. Some of the Emperor's men pickled his body in a barrel of vinegar to preserve it and eventually bury in Jerusalem. But efforts to conserve his body in vinegar failed. Hence, his flesh was interred in the Church of St Peter in Antioch, his bones in the cathedral of Tyre, and his heart and inner organs in Tarsus. Which Emperor?


  1. 1.Tutankhamen
    9.Extremely cold weather

  2. 1. Charlemagne
    2. King Dasharatha
    3. Vinegar?
    4. Mummification – I guess the Persian word for ‘wax’ is ‘mom’ (not mother mom although mom is mummy; but mome)
    5. Ivan
    6. Removing all flesh and organs and stuffing the body?
    7. Sleeping Beauty
    8. Nelson
    9. Extreme temperature conditions whilst buried
    10. Louis Phillip

  3. 1. Charlemagne
    2. Dashrath?
    3. Umm, chilies?
    4. Mummy
    5. Mendeleev?
    6. Removed the internal organs?
    7. Goldilocks?
    8. Nelson
    9. Freezing in ice / snow
    10. Frederick I?

    - Annie

  4. 1.
    2. Ramayan
    3. Olive oil
    4. Mummy
    6. Pickled in alcohol
    7. Cinderella
    8. Nelson
    9. Winter
    10. Saladin

  5. 1.Charlemagne
    2. Dasaratha
    3. corn syrup
    4, mummy
    6. covering in molten gold
    7. goldilocks
    8. Charles Cleveland Esq
    9. fossilized in peat

  6. 1. Charlemagne
    2. Dashratha
    3. Honey
    4. Balm
    6. Shrunk their heads and wore them as talismans
    7. Sleeping Beauty
    8. Nelson
    9. A skin condition which hardens one's features, like stone

  7. 4. Mummy
    7. Sleeping Beauty
    9. Fossilisation

  8. 1. Kaiser Wilhelm
    2. Rama's dad, Dashratha
    3. Olive oil
    4. mom, mummify, mummy
    5. Pavlov
    6. They buried the embalmers too with the chief's body
    7. Sleeping Beauty
    8. Lord Nelson
    9. Preserved in volcanic ash
    10. King Richard

  9. 2. King Dashrath
    3. Preserved in Honey
    4. Mummy? from "mom"= wax
    6. They were embalmed in pots?
    7. Sleeping beauty?
    8. Nelson
    9. Peat bogs. (Anaerobic conditions within.)