Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Computed tomography scanning of Meresamun

SPIE (Emily Teeter and Michael Vannier)

A detailed description of the equipment and techniques used in the CT scanning of Meresamun. Here's an extract:

The results of the 256-slice CT scans far exceeded our expectations, and to date this mummy may have been studied more exhaustively with CT than any other (see Figure 3). Although numerous books, journal articles, reports, and news articles discuss CT scanning of mummies, no comparable examination exists in terms of the details found, number of images generated, technical specifications of the imaging system, and computer-graphics results (see Figure 4).

The announcement of the new Meresamun exhibit excited significant media interest and resulted in numerous news reports (e.g., on CNN), magazine articles (most notably in Archaeology,2 which also created a dedicated website), and many other outlets. A special monograph, authored by numerous experts and edited by world-leading authorities in Egyptology, was developed to complement and catalog the exhibit.3

There are several unusual aspects to this study. Most important, all experts who worked on this project agreed to freely share all data obtained, which will be made available online (see Figure 5). To those who do not have access to a 256-channel CT scanner and unopened mummy in a casket, this therefore offers a unique opportunity to continue and expand our studies.

See the above page for the full story with some excellent photographs.

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