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Egyptian Mummies Scanned by the British Experts
Jun 07, 2014

The British Museum has carried out scans on eight Egyptian mummies, which has enabled scientists for the first time to tell the age of the mummies, what they ate, the diseases they suffered from, and how they died.

Each mummy was put into a state-of-the-art CT scanner. Researchers probed them layer by layer to build up a high-definition 3D picture of each one.  Once digitised, British Museum staff was then able to peel away each layer, to see the face of the person underneath the bandages.

John Taylor, who is the museum's curator of Ancient Egypt and Sudan said he was ‘stunned’ when he saw the images. 

The researchers were able to see muscles and even arteries. They noted some seemed clogged with fatty deposits, suggesting these particular people ate rich food and perhaps suffered and possibly died of coronary heart disease.

Peeling away the muscle, researchers were able to see the skeletons in unprecedented detail. They were able to estimate the age of the individuals from their pelvis and their dental structure.  Many of them had bad teeth with signs of severe abscesses that must have been very painful on a daily basis.

The mummies for this project were selected from the British Museum's collection. They cover a time span of 4,000 years, from 3,500 BC to AD 700, and all lived in the Nile Valley. 

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