Saturday, August 01, 2009

Patient aged 2,500 in for tests

BBC News

A team of radiographers at a London university have been preoccupied with a patient somewhat older than most - 2,500-year old Egyptian mummy Tahemaa.

Specialists at City University in Islington, north London, used a CT scanner to learn more about how she died without damaging the corpse.

They discovered that, unusually, the brain had been left inside the mummy - suggesting an apprentice embalmed her.

Tahemaa lived in a temple in Luxor, southern Egypt, and died aged about 28.

Jayne Morgan, a senior lecturer in radiography at City University London, led the team.

She said: "It is the first time I have had such an old patient.

"But you suddenly realise you are still scanning a human being - even if it is 2,500 years old.

"You scan it in exactly the same way as a human patient.

"But because the mummy is stationary it gives you less problems with movement."

Ms Morgan said the team's principle emotion was wonder.

"The brain was still completely intact", said Ms Morgan. "We could see a fracture in her leg bone in very fine detail."

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