Saturday, February 18, 2006

Pesed: Peeling back time

The mummy Pesed has been mentioned more than once on this blog. She was donated in 1885 by the Reverend John Giffen, a missionary to Egypt and a Westminster graduate, to the Westminster College in New Wilmington. CT scans carried out in summer 2005 have helped to reveal details about the mummy. Jonathan Elias, an archaeologist and director of the Harrisburg-based Akhmim Mummy Studies Consortium, which paid for the CT scans and is leading the project has provided details: "Pesed was hunchbacked, her 5-foot, 5-inch frame wracked by osteoporosis, and 60 percent of her teeth were missing by the time of her death. Abscesses might have caused an infection that eventually killed her".
The daughter of a priest and temple musician, Pesed was probably a member of a privileged class in Akhmim. See the above article for more details.

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