Zoltán Arányi
Human Mummy
Aranyi zoltan
Biographical Information
Name(s) Zoltán Arányi
Age 6-Year Old
Sex Male
Status elite
Culture Hungarian
Date(s) 1861-1862 (19th Century)
Site Pest, Hungary
Current Location
Location Budapest, Hungary
Catalog #
Born on January 21st, 1856 in Pest, Hungary. Zoltán Arányi was a doctor’s beloved son. He died of diphtheria at age six. Not being able to bear the thought of his son being gone forever, Dr Lajos Arányi decided to embalm the boy's body and keep him on a chair close to his desk. For many years, the little body sat next to his father’s desk in his study. After the doctor's death, the family kept the body in the house until 1925.


Soon after his son's death, Lajos Arányi began the embalming process. The process started with soaking the body in a special liquid for 100 hours, and the separated head for around 12 hours. He painted the face and put shells under the eyelids to prevent them from sinking in. The body was kept at 21˚ 41% humidity, and out of direct light. The procedure has been very efficient as the body is still in very good condition.


Once the body was donated to the medical university's Institute for Forensic Science, it underwent several different examinations but they were limited. There is still little known about the technique used to mummify the body.


The boy was diagnosed with diphtheria and died as a result of the disease.


In 1926, the body was donated for display at an international health exhibition entitled “The Human.” After the exhibition, the family donated the mummy to the Institute for Forensic Science where it remained until 1969. It then found housing at the newly founded Museum of Medical Science. Although the body has remained fairly untouched, Russian soldiers took Zoltán’s trousers during the Second World War, hence the white underwear he is now seen in.

External Links


BudNews. (2015). 150-Year-Mummy in Budapest. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Nov. 2017].

Scheffer, K. (2015). The mummy of a 5-year-old boy. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Nov. 2017].

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