digitally disassembled mummy | EOS Science

This is what Amenhotep’s face mask looks like from the outside… (© S. Saleem and Z. Hawass)

There is something very special about the mummy of Amenhotep I, who ruled ancient Egypt from about 1525 to 1504 BC. Unlike any other mummy in 19From in 20You are A century of their graves, his remains remain intact. Read: His remains were not removed from the embalming wrap. Or at least not in the modern era, but more on that in a moment.

Yet, but in a way that is technically special and morally valuable. The research team was headed by Dr. Sahar Selim (Cairo University). Not an archaeologist but a radiologist, and this is no coincidence. She and her colleagues are associated with the famous Egyptian Mummy Project, which uses modern scanning techniques to study mummies. Using a 3D CT scan, the team digitally decoded the mummy of Amenhotep I, as it were.

For example, a 3D CT scan makes the interior visible, in front of side views, without harming or offending the mummy. (© S. Selim and Z. Hawass)

A unique scientific opportunity, says Dr. Selim: “Without unpleasant side effects, we can trace how this pharaoh was originally mummified and buried.” Where historical coincidence provides a bonus. About 3000 years ago, the mummy was manually processed several times. To repair the damage caused by grave robbers, in particular. So we also have the opportunity to study the techniques of restoration that were already known at the time and how they were used in practice. With this method, you can digitally peel off the different layers of the casing with great precision. In addition, the mummy is well preserved. The face mask, the bandages, the mummy itself… We can study it down to the smallest detail better than ever before.

Doctor. Sehim also sees greater importance in the method that she and her team developed: “It can also be used in the anthropological and archaeological research of other mummies from other periods and regions. I think, for example, of South America.

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