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The coins discovered in the upper esophagus were an interesting find. The date range of the coins suggests that they had been placed there over a long period. It further suggests that the mummy had been viewed at the funeral home, perhaps as a dramatic example of the embalming prowess at the Auman Funeral Home. The coins may have been placed according to the custom of giving the dead hidden money to pay the boatman who will transport the recently dead across the river Styx. Or perhaps the mummy was simply an unusual wishing well.
The mummified remains of a male individual have been in the care of the Theodore C. Auman Funeral Home in Reading, Pennsylvania, for over 100 years. The remains, said to be those of a James Penn, an imprisoned burglar who died in 1895, was embalmed by Theodore Auman in an attempt to allow any family members time to claim their relative. The embalming solution used an early formulation of formaldehyde preserved the body so well that it is still in excellent condition (Conlogue et al. 2008). No previous examination of the remains has been recorded. Several newspaper accounts of James Penn's life, death, and mummification were reported. However, the very same source reported that someone named James Penn was buried. If that is true, who was this mummy and when was he mummified Anecdotal accounts of public viewings in the funeral home have been reported. Internal context artifact analysis became a factor in this case regarding the temporal context associated with these remains.
Fluoroscopy is real-time x-ray that can be seen on a monitor. Fluoroscopy is used in clinical medicine to guide such procedures as cardiac catheterization, and pulmonary biopsy procedures. Individual images can be collected at any time either on standard x-ray film, instant x-ray film, or digitally. These images can document the site of an anomaly or the location of a biopsy or artifact prior to retrieval. The advantage of fluoroscopy as related to videoendoscopy is that fluoroscopy can allow the operator to guide the VE with much greater assurance of direction and location within the mummified remains. We have used fluoroscopy in conjunction with endoscopy to assist in the retrieval of 21 coins from the posterior oral pharynx and proximal aspect of the esophagus of a late 19th century mummy housed at the Auman Funeral Home in Reading, Pennsylvania. Since there were so many coins, fluoroscopy provided real-time images of the coin locations (Conlogue et al. 2008a). During this...
Another advantage of CT is the modality's ability to demonstrate soft tissue that would otherwise not be seen on conventional radiographs. This was demonstrated in a mummy known by several names including James Penn, Stoneman, and Stoneman Willie (Figure 3.15). The story surrounding the individual, who resides in a funeral home in Pennsylvania, indicates that he died in 1895. The body was embalmed with formalin and, because relatives never claimed the remains, the body still resides there. The radiographs of his skull, chest, and abdomen reveal organs that were in an excellent state of preservation. Other than foreign bodies in his mouth, nothing irregular was noted. The foreign bodies removed under endoscopic guidance turned out to be pennies that probably were deposited as offerings while the body had been at the funeral home. In addition, a nail was also recovered from under the tongue, but its significance could not be determined.