Thursday, May 06, 2010

Mask of the Mummy

National Geographic

Thanks to Tony Marson for this link. A five-photo slideshow with detailed captions looks specifically at ancient Egyptian mummified crocodiles. The photos are excellent.

There's a real crocodile behind that mask, according to new computed tomography (CT) scans of a 2,000-year-old Egyptian mummy (pictured). The 8-foot-long (2.4-meter-long) artifact—wrapped in once colorful linen and outfitted with a stylized mask—is one of two crocodile mummy bundles scanned this month at the Stanford School of Medicine in California.

Scans of the bundle above show a "mishmash of bony parts" from at least two Nile crocodiles, including two skulls, a shoulder bone, and possibly a femur, according to conservator Allison Lewis, a fellow at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology in Berkeley, California, where the mummies are kept.

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