From hidden amulets to signs of violence and disease, the secret lives of the ancient Egyptians have been unveiled using CT scans to see inside mummies´ bandages. An ancient Egyptian child mummy is undergoing the investigative but non-invasive process at St Bernward hospital in Hildesheim, Germany. The hospital will examine two child mummies from Roemer und Pelizaeus Museum in Hildesheim to any detect peculiarities. Such abnormalities could contribute to a better understanding of the ancient Egyptian mummification tradition.
Last year, the British Museum used the technology in an exhibition to allow visitors to peer inside mummy cases and examine the bodies beneath the wrappings, bringing them face to face with eight people who lived in the Nile Valley thousands of years ago. Dr John Taylor, Egyptian archaeology curator at the British Museum, told The Telegraph: ´With this technology we can go inside the body and put flesh on the bones or take it away as we wish.´
Experts can take individual ´slices´ through the body which can be used to build 3D models of mummies and reveal never-before-seen details. For example, scans revealed Tamut, a female adult singer from Thebes who was mummified in 900BC, was laid to rest in a beautifully decorated casket with amulets placed on her body. The CT scan data allowed experts to print 3D replicas of the previously unseen amulets, which included a figure of a goddess with its wings spread protectively across her throat and beeswax figurines of gods placed inside her chest to protect the internal organs in the afterlife. It also revealed the singer, who died in her 30s or 40s, had calcified plaque inside her arteries — a sign of a fatty diet, and high social status. She may well have died from a heart attack or stroke.
Embalmers were generally exceptionally skilled, extracting the brain of the deceased through the nose, although they sometimes made mistakes. The museum´s scientists were thrilled to discover a spatula-like probe still inside one man´s skull, along with a blob of brain. ´The tool at the back of the skull was quite a revelation, because embalmers´ tools are something that we don´t know much about, Dr Taylor said. ´To find one actually inside a mummy is an enormous advance.´ This detail would have gone unnoticed if it wasn´t for CT scanning technology. Dr Taylor said: ´The clarity of the images is advancing very rapidly. ´As the technology advances, we have hopes that we may be able to read even hieroglyphic inscriptions on objects inside mummies.´
viernes, 17 de julio de 2015
Momias del antiguo Egipto, pertenecientes a dos niños, son escanedas en en hospital St. Bernwars, de Hildesheim, para detectar sus peculiaridades. Por Sarah Griffiths