Wednesday, May 24, 2006

CAT Scan of Philadelphia mummy

A mummy from Akmim, which was X-rayed many years ago and was thought as a result to be a young girl, has now been subjected to a CAT scan, which has revealed new information:
The location of the mummy's original X-rays is unknown, but in any event, they would pale in comparison to a CAT scan. The machine uses the same kind of radiation, but is far more sophisticated - the visual equivalent of peeling away the layers of an onion.
The machine takes hundreds of pictures, capturing one narrow "slice" of the patient at a time. The slices, measuring six-tenths of a millimeter, are then compiled to produce a high-resolution three-dimensional image of the patient. The machine is turned on, and almost immediately a ghostly white image reveals the body, her arms at her sides, her fingertips touching at the waist.
The other Akhmim mummies scanned to date - seven out of an eventual 20 or more - have their arms crossed. . . . The iliac crest, the top of the pelvic bone that many people mistakenly identify as their hip bone, has fused. This means the girl is perhaps not a girl at all - she is at least in her late teens. Yet her pelvis does not appear to have undergone the radical change that occurs when women give birth."
For the full story, which follows the scan from the complications of releasing the mummy from its display through to a summary of the information so far revealed, see the above page.

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