Friday, August 22, 2008

X-ray fails to identify metal object in 1708-year-old body (Chris Henwood)

A MUMMY murder mystery got Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery bosses scratching their heads.

The 1,708-year-old mummified body of a man, believed to be in his mid-30s, is set to go back on show at the Chamberlain Square museum this month after extensive tests failed to shed light on a mysterious metal object lodged in the back of its neck.

The Graeco Roman mummy underwent X-rays and conservation work, but museum bosses are now thinking of sending it for a CAT scan to find out more.

Deborah Cane, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery’s collections care officer, said: “We believed it had an arrow in the back of the neck and it does have something metallic there, but we’re not sure what it is.

“The scans also revealed he was very healthy, so no indication as to why he died. We’re hoping to do a CAT scan of the head to get a 3D image of the metallic object that could reveal its shape, and if an arrow head, then potentially the cause of death.”

The elaborately-bandaged specimen, with gilt terracotta studs, was donated to the museum in the 1920s by Albert Phillips, a bedstead maker from Birmingham who travelled to the Middle East.

See the above page for the full story.

No comments: