Apr 19, 2013— read in full
What's behind a mummy's bandages?
Aug 02, 2012
A student at Manchester University has taken X-rays of seven Egyptian mummies.
The mummies, which are normally kept at the British Museum in London but which were carefully transported to Manchester Infirmary for the procedure, date back to 900BC. It is believed the ancient Egyptians were experimenting with new ways of preserving their dead at this time, but examination has always been difficult since unwrapping the mummies’ bandages could damage the bodies.
By putting the mummies through a CT scanner, Manchester University PhD student Dr. Abeer Helmi discovered that the ancient Egyptians used wooden struts to keep the bodies in position, and put stones in the eye sockets to make them look as lifelike as possible. Dr. Helmi also found that one female mummy had been buried with 11 gold amulets, suggesting she was a rich priestess.
The X-rays also shone light on how healthy the ancient Egyptians were. Two of the bodies were found to be anaemic, and all but one had damaged teeth, which experts think was the result of eating food which had become filled with sand in the Egyptian desert.
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