Abbreviated Journal Title
STATURE; Radiology, Nuclear Medicine & Medical Imaging
As a nondestructive method of historical and anthropologic inquiry, imaging has played an important role in mummy studies over the past several decades. Recent technologic advances have made multidetector computed tomography (CT) an especially useful means for deepening the present understanding of ancient cultures by examining preserved human remains. In April 2011, three ancient Egyptian human mummies from the Redpath Museum of McGill University were examined with 320-section multidetector CT as part of the IMPACT Radiological Mummy Database project headquartered at the University of Western Ontario. Whole-body scanning was performed with a section thickness of 0.5 mm and a peak voltage of 120 kVp, and the raw CT datasets were postprocessed by using smooth body and high-resolution bone convolution filters. Two of the mummies were scanned at different energy levels (80 and 135 keV). The high-resolution CT scans revealed the details of mummification and allowed observations about the socioeconomic and health status of the human subjects based on both the mummification technique used and the appearance of the remains, particularly the bones and teeth. The paleopathologic information obtained from the scans confirmed some findings in studies performed in the same mummies in the late 19th and 20th centuries. The CT scans also demonstrated a high degree of variability in Egyptian mortuary practice, variability that is not generally recognized in the literature. Unusual features that were observed included a relatively uncommon retained heart in mummy RM2718, retained lungs in a mummy from which the heart had been extracted (RM2720), and a cartonnage plaque placed over the left abdomen of a mummy that had been eviscerated transperineally (RM2717).
Wade, Andrew D.; Garvin, Gregory J.; Hurnanen, Jaana H.; Williams, Lana; Lawson, Barbara; Nelson, Andrew J.; and Tampieri, Donatella, "Scenes from the Past Multidetector CT of Egyptian Mummies of the Redpath Museum" (2012). Faculty Bibliography 2010s. 3449.