The New England Grimpendium: Padihershef, the Mummy of Mass General

Well, here we are at the last of the photo essays based on my new book, The New England Grimpendium (available now). It’s sad really, but only because I have to actually put in the effort to write articles again. Hopefully, some of these sneak peeks made you curious enough about the book to pick it up at some point. If not, it's going to be pretty awkward the next time we run into each other at the grocery store.

September 19, 2010 — It’s easy to find mummies in large, well-funded museums. However, it’s more fun to find them elsewhere. In my travels, I’ve come across mummies in a crypt in Ireland, in the bathroom of an ex-train depot in West Virginia, and in a graveyard in Vermont. Right up there with those, is the mummy I found inside one of the world’s leading medical institutions, Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Dubbed by the hieroglyphics on its coffin Padihershef, this 2,500 corpse of a Theban stone-cutter was one of the first intact Egyptian mummies to come the U.S., where he found a place at MGH and ended up a mute (alright, dead) witness to one of the landmark moments in medical science, the first public surgery conducted under anesthesia. The patient, was under anesthesia, that is.

Padihershef is located in the historic Ether Dome in MGH, and was 
present when the historic surgery was performed there in 1846 

A medical skeleton from the 1800s 
is also on display there.

A monument to the medical event was erected 
in the Boston Public Garden, adjacent to the Common.

Padihershef himshelf.

Read all about my visit to Padihershef, the Mummy of Mass General in The New England Grimpendium, which is on sale now.