Irish Times (Anthony King)
The Lady Tentdinebu reclines in a corner room of the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin. Her brilliantly coloured encasement tells us she once lived in ancient Egypt. When she died around 800 BC in Thebes, her body was preserved for the afterlife. Today you can admire the texts and religious imagery decorating her mummified body.
Such mummies are providing modern science with a view into their ancient world. Modern imaging techniques allowed experts to suggest famed Tutankhamun died of malaria (about 1,324 BC). And medical scans show diseases such as atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) were common among ancient Egyptians; even cancer has been detected.
The National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh is running a special exhibition, Fascinating Mummies, until May 27th, which focuses on what scientists today can tell us about ancient Egypt.