A visual tour of the 400-year-old tombs of Palermo featuring haunting images of the dead that trace Sicilian history from the renaissance to the early-20th century. Between 1500 and 1800, the Cappuccini monks of Palermo devised a method of mummification that was so succesful that, up to 500 years later, the bodies of the dead are still astonishingly well preserved. The people they prepared for burial in the Chlesa dai Cappuccini were mostly from the higher levels of society and many are still dressed in their rich funeral clothes. The images in this book take Palermo's history right back to the late Rennaissance period, reconstructing the social and ethnic stratification of the city through the study of the dead. The accompanying text provides answers to the questions that have intrigued archaelogists - who were these people? What kind of lives did they live? Why were their bodies mummified? And how was it done?