Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Another mummy under the scanner - Tasherytpamenekh

Anniston Star

With an excellent 16-photograph slideshow.

For years, we’ve known her name, spelled out in hieroglyphs on the painted paper covering her body: “Tasherytpamenekh, justified of voice forever and ever.”

It’s pronounced Ta-SHER-eet-pa-MEN-eck, and it means “daughter of Pamenekh.”

Now we know even more about the Anniston Museum of Natural History’s mummy, thanks to images released this week from a high-tech CT scan at Regional Medical Center.

The scans, according to Dr. Robert Garner of RMC, revealed a remarkably well-preserved skeleton for a 2,300-year-old woman.

She had strong bones and good teeth, signs that she ate well, and was probably in her 20s. She might have been wealthy; her joints show none of the stress that would have marked her as a laborer.

She has no lungs, or stomach, or liver. Her organs were taken out during the mummification process. (Her brain was removed by sticking a long hook up her nose.) Even if her organs remained, Garner said they would be unrecognizable now.

There was no jewelry on her body. There might never have been, or it might have been stolen by grave robbers.

The big mystery, though, remains: What killed her?

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