CT Scans and History

Except for one, every ancient mummy of an Egyptian Pharaoh has been unwrapped to be studied, and in the process, at least partially destroyed. The only fully intact mummy is named Amenhotep, discovered in 1881. How can researchers learn more from this unique fossil without damaging it? By using CT scans!
By using imaging technology, the remains of Amenhotep can be reconstructed in both 2D and 3D, while retaining his wrap and ornate decorations. We now know that Amenhotep stood roughly five foot six, and had good teeth for the time. He lived to be about thirty five years old, and unlike some other Pharaohs, he showed no signs of an obvious cause of death. Sahar Saleem, who works with the Egyptian Mummy Project, says “The 2D and 3D images show the mummy’s physical features, health, mummification style, injuries by ancient tomb robbers, as well as treatment offered by the priests of a later dynasty. No other imaging method can provide this data.”
Yes, Amenhotep’s mummified body was once raided by grave robbers. Around 400 years later it was opened up again, thought to have been the work of more criminals. However, the scans revealed that this time it was likely Egyptian priests repairing the damage done years before. If CT scans can provide this much information about such an ancient artifact, scientists are excited about what they can reveal about other, more delicate artifacts!

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