Mummies around the World
An Encyclopedia of Mummies in History, Religion, and Popular Culture
by Matt Cardin, Editor
November 2014, 470pp, 7x10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-61069-419-3
$108, £84, 94€, A148
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-420-9
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Mortality and death are perennial human fascinations, and their hold on our culture and imagination is nowhere more evident than in the phenomenon of mummification.

Perfect for school and public libraries, this is the only reference book to combine pop culture with science to uncover the mystery behind mummies and the mummification phenomena.

Mortality and death have always fascinated humankind. Civilizations from all over the world have practiced mummification as a means of preserving life after death—a ritual which captures the imagination of scientists, artists, and laypeople alike. This comprehensive encyclopedia focuses on all aspects of mummies: their ancient and modern history; their scientific study; their occurrence around the world; the religious and cultural beliefs surrounding them; and their roles in literary and cinematic entertainment.

Author and horror guru Matt Cardin brings together 130 original articles written by an international roster of leading scientists and scholars to examine the art, science, and religious rituals of mummification throughout history. Through a combination of factual articles and topical essays, this book reviews cultural beliefs about death; the afterlife; and the interment, entombment, and cremation of human corpses in places like Egypt, Europe, Asia, and Central and South America. Additionally, the book covers the phenomenon of natural mummification where environmental conditions result in the spontaneous preservation of human and animal remains.


  • Includes photographs, reproductions of ancient art, images from films and television, and a bibliography to encourage further research
  • Features profiles of famous archaeologists and key figures who have been instrumental in bringing the mummy to modern consciousness
  • Contains various timelines tracing the exploration of the Egyptian tombs, the birth of modern genetic and radiologic methods of study, the evolution of mummies in film and literature, and the history of mummies around the world
  • Highlights key facts and interesting trivia related to mummies in helpful sidebars
  • Offers an extensive bibliography to encourage further reading
Matt Cardin is an instructor at Ranger College in Ranger, TX. His published works include the books Dark Awakenings and Divinations of the Deep as well as numerous articles and essays in various publications, including ABC-CLIO's Encyclopedia of the Vampire: The Living Dead in Myth, Legend, and Popular Culture. He holds a master's degree in religious studies and a bachelor's degree in communication.


"Mummies around the World is a fascinating overview that will be enjoyed by those with both a serious and a casual interest in mummies and their history."—Booklist, February 25, 2015

"A WorldCat subject search reveals that this encyclopedia on mummies is the first one published in the past ten years. . . . The scientific articles may be the most fascinating, given the advancement of technologies over the last 30 years. The majority of articles treat the mummies of Egypt, if for no other reason than this type of mummy has been ingrained in the Western imagination since Napoleon's invasion. Overall, a good introduction to the subject. Summing Up: Recommended. Undergraduate students and general readers."—Choice, June 1, 2015

"This truly rollicking blend of scientific and pop culture offers facts ranging from actual methods of mummification to an entry on the 1955 movie Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy and includes trivia-fact boxes. An educational and entertaining compendium that is recommended for all 'mummymaniacs' everywhere."—Library Journal, November 28, 2016
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