Skip to content

Cutting-edge technology gives insight into the lives of ancient Egyptians

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
5/19/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Advances allows intense examinations of ancient bodies beneath the wrappings

Ancient Egypt with its funerary art and mysterious mummies have long enchanted the modern world. During the 19th Century, when "Egyptomania" electrified Europe, it became common practice to open their cases and unwrap them in front of paying audiences. This unfortunately damaged the mummies forever afterwards. The British Museum then decided to never unwrap mummies in the future. Therefore, a certain amount of mystery would reside with the mummies. New technology, however, is now revealing more about the times in which this artefacts were created.

John H. Taylor along with his colleague Daniel Antoine, the museum's curator of physical anthropology, are standing in the middle of Ancient Lives, New Discoveries, a new exhibition that they have brought together.

John H. Taylor along with his colleague Daniel Antoine, the museum's curator of physical anthropology, are standing in the middle of Ancient Lives, New Discoveries, a new exhibition that they have brought together.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
5/19/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Mummies, CT scans, funerary, Egypt


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The use of X-rays in the 20th century revealed new information about what the mummies contained. The picture remained hidden beneath the wrappings still remained hazy and indistinct. Archaeologists over the past 20 years have brought the contents of mummies into crisper focus by using computerized tomography scanning.

It's the only in the last few years, with the advent of the latest generation of "dual-energy" CT scanners, that they have been able to "visualize" the interiors of mummies - virtually peeling away layers of wrappings, without causing any damage to the surface. The results of this latest research can prove to be startling. 

Starvation never takes a vacation --

"A CT scanner is a rotating X-ray machine that usually bombards one X-ray wavelength," Antoine explains. "For three of the mummies [in the exhibition], we used a dual-energy CT scanner, which can be set at two different wavelengths," John H. Taylor, a curator at the British Museum specializing in ancient Egyptian funerary archaeology. "That allows you to capture in great detail both the thicker parts as well as very thin parts such as bandages, skin and soft tissue. As a result, we are seeing things now that even three years ago we wouldn't have been able to see."

Taylor along with his colleague Daniel Antoine, the museum's curator of physical anthropology, are standing in the middle of Ancient Lives, New Discoveries, a new exhibition that they have brought together.

A good example of this is the mummy of Tamut, a high-ranking priest's daughter who lived in the early part of the 22nd Dynasty, perhaps about 900 BC. Discovered during the 19th Century, has been in the collection of the British Museum since 1891. Now one has been able to "see" inside its elaborately painted case made of layers of linen soaked in glue, which contains Tamut's mummified remains.

Various things was learned about how she was embalmed. Her hair was cut short, which suggests she wore a wig. For another, the arteries in her inner thighs were coated with fatty plaque deposits - a sign, perhaps, that she enjoyed a cholesterol-rich diet. Like the other adult mummies in the exhibition, Tamut also suffered from terrible dental health.

Her brain was extracted through her right nostril. Her fingernails and toenails were both covered with metal, perhaps gold leaf: "We weren't expecting to find that," Taylor says. "It links to an ancient Egyptian text that says you should put electrum [an alloy of silver and gold] on fingernails and toenails to convey new life, but that's the first time I've actually seen it on a mummy."

Using advanced software that can visualize the data gathered by powerful CT scanners, it was also possible to see a number of the magical objects that the embalmers placed on Tamut's skin and inside her torso. These include artificial eyes, amulets, and four figurines of the so-called Sons of Horus, who were placed within the chest cavity in separate bundles containing parts of her internal organs.

---


'Help Give every Student and Teacher FREE resources for a world-class Moral Catholic Education'


Copyright 2018 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for FEBRUARY 2018
Say 'No' to Corruption.
That those who have material, political or spiritual power may resist any lure of corruption.


Comments


More Technology

Do these paintings show ancient aliens visited Earth? What does the Church say? Watch

Image of NASA has been asked to take a look at some notable petroglyphs in India.

The evidence is mounting that we are not alone in the universe and that we may have been, and could still be, regularly visited by ... continue reading


Falcon Heavy launches humanity's fourth car into space, and other facts you didn't know Watch

Image of DON'T PANIC!

Faith, the Olympics, and spaceflight all unite the world. Even when we compete, even when we celebrate our diversity, these three things ... continue reading


Twitter to ban 'way of talking' - could this include Christian speech? Watch

Image of Social media sites are increasing censorship, but will it affect Christian speech too?

Social media censorship is on the rise, prompting fears that Christian speech could be stifled. Recently, a Twitter engineer was caught on ... continue reading


Government official confirms aliens are real, so now what? Watch

Image of The aliens are real. So now what?

A couple weeks ago, Luis Elizondo, the former Pentagon head of a virtual X-Files program within the Department of Defense, broke the ... continue reading


Declassified video may be best evidence yet of UFOs Watch

Image of Infrared footage from the camera suggests the video is authentic.

Last week, a story surged in the media that may serve as the best evidence yet that Earth is being visited by extraterrestrials. While most ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.