Friday, January 20, 2012

Rhind Mummy under the scanner

Scotland on Sunday

SHE was spirited to Scotland by a forward-thinking Egyptologist who made an unusual decision not to unwrap the mummified remains of a young woman to find any “treasure” lying beneath.

Now, more than 150 years later, the secrets of what is under the black-tarred linen surrounding the “Rhind Mummy” has been revealed in a series of CT scans.

An Edinburgh University team of radiologists and forensic pathologists have identified the remains as those of a 2,000-year-old Egyptian woman, aged 25-29, with a plate of metal, probably solid gold, in the shape of a flying scarab, placed on her skull.

Another metal disc has also been found on her stomach, and she is clutching a rolled scroll in her right hand against her thigh. The scroll is likely to be a funerary text, combining directions for mummification with guidance for the afterlife, and it could give the mummy’s lineage or name.

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