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Authentication: The analyzation of Graham H. Hamrick’s Solution to Preserve Corpses

Authentication: The analyzation of Graham H. Hamrick’s Solution to Preserve Corpses. Denise Regan, Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSUD);

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Authentication: The analyzation of Graham H. Hamrick’s Solution to Preserve Corpses

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  1. Authentication: The analyzation of Graham H. Hamrick’s Solution to Preserve Corpses Denise Regan, Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSUD); April Hill, MSUD; Julia Woodward, MSUD; David Haddad, MSUD; Roxanne Finn,, University of Colorado Denver; Gerald Conlogue, Quinnipiac University; Ronald Beckett, Quinnipiac University

  2. In this subproject of the Philippi Mummy Project we focus upon the analysis of two samples believed to be remnants of a 1888 embalming solution used in the mummification of two Jane Doe subjects.

  3. To confirm through the use of chemical analysis that the samples tested are of Hamrick's 19th century corpse preservation solution Why We Are Conducting This Research?

  4. The components detailed in the patent are water, saltpeter, or potassium nitrate, and sublimed sulfur. Potassium nitrate is a chemical compound with the formula KNO3. It utilized as a laxative, diaphoretic and in diseases of the skin. Sublimed sulfur refers to sulfur in the state of yellow flakes. Sulfur is a chemical element with symbol S and atomic number 16. Sublimed sulfur is used in treating skin diseases, bacterial infections, and fungal infections. What We Know

  5. The Methodology Used Two samples were collected from a jar of liquid understood to be Hamrick’s original solution, and then another from a dry jar in which residues were rehydrated.

  6. The two specimens were analyzed using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, or ICP/MS. Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass SpectrometerICP/MS

  7. The ICP-MS is capable of determining the concentration of all but a few elements at concentrations as low as one part per trillion. This is achieved by ionizing all of the atoms in a liquid sample with inductively coupled plasma and then uses a mass spectrometer to separate and quantify those ions. How Does the ICP-MS Work?

  8. ICP – MS Results Liquid Sample Rehydrated Sample ICP-MS testing identified relatively high concentrations of both sulfur and potassium, which was expected based upon the patent. However, an unexpected element was also detected at a significant concentration.

  9. ICP / MS Findings The two elements in the patent expected to be found were confirmed in proportional amounts relative to the sample origin. Although in a relatively small amount, the unexpected element was surprising and has some significance.

  10. Bromine What Is The Unexpected Element?

  11. What Can Finding Bromine Mean? Bromine was not included in Hamrick’s patented process. The presence in increased proportions of Sulfur and Potassium in the original sample compared to the rehydrated sample was expected. Finding Bromine was not.

  12. Hamrick’s use of Bromine in addition to the Sulfur and Potassium in his patented corpse preservation process offers answers to two questions – Why there is no record of successful corpse preservation by anyone else using this patented process. The local Philippi West Virginia lore regarding the mummies stating Hamrick left out an ingredient on purpose.

  13. A future project is pending with plans to acquire a porcine cadaver and, using the patented formula, test Hamrick’s corpse preservation process, attempting to recreate and duplicate the outcomes of Hamrick’s preservation of the two Philippi Mummies WHATISNEXT?

  14. Anthony, T. (1993, June 22). Mystery mummies. Retrieved from http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=266&dat=19930622&id=FNsrAAAAIBAJ&sjid=Z2QFAAAAIBAJ&pg=4754,4695266 Brown , T., & Brown, K. (2011). Biomolecular archaeology. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. United States Patent Office, (1892). Graham h. hamrick of philippi method of preserving corpses (Patent No. 466,524). Retrieved from United States Patent Office website: http://www.google.com/patents/US466524?pg=PA2&dq=METHOD OF PRESERVING CORPSES&hl=en&sa=X&ei= bOfKUJfFEu3AyQHBg4G4Bw&ved=0CD4Q6AEwAQ References

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