Modern scans help unlock secrets of Egyptian mummies

6th Feb 2013

Cutting-edge technology is being used to help unlock the mystery of Egypt's ancient mummies.

Curators from Manchester Museum are finding out more about the lives, deaths, diets, and health of their 24 preserved subjects thanks to CT scans.

The mummies have been carefully removed from the Oxford Road museum and transported to the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital for the detailed scans.

It is hoped the subsequent 3D images will provide museum staff with a clearer picture of their subjects' lives and deaths.

The MEN was invited along to the hospital to watch the mummies undergo the latest scans.

X-Rays were previously carried out on the bodies in the 1970s, however this is the first time they have undergone a scan using cutting-edge technology.

It is hoped that by using modern methods to study the mummies teams at the museum can learn a lot more.

Curator Campbell Price said: "Obviously the priority is for living patients but these scanners are not normally used during the evenings, so it is a chance for us to carry out these tests. Because of the radiation, you wouldn't normally do a full body scan of a living patient.

"But with mummies that's not a problem and we expect it will generate lots of useful information."

A middle-aged woman named Demetria who was alive in 100AD and a young girl named Pa-Sherui-Ankh who lived during 300AD are among the mummies being analysed.

The details surrounding their lives and deaths will be interpreted by hospital staff including Professor Judith Adams.

Mr Price said that this would allow the team to put "flesh on the bones of how they lived".


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