Egyptian mummy getting a closer look in St. Louis
The mummy of Egyptian priest Amen-Nestawy-Nakht is getting another CAT scan, and researchers hope to learn not only how he died but more about his health. His last scan was several decades ago, when technology wasn’t at the level it is now, the St. Louis-Dispatch reported.
On Sunday, art movers hired by the St. Louis Art Museum picked up three mummies, including Amen-Nestawy’s. The wrapped corpses were taken to the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and the Washington University School of Medicine, where a team of professors, doctors and radiologists examined the bodies.
Michelle Miller-Thomas, a radiologist who specializes in head, neck and brain imagery, said that 3-D X-ray scanners are the best way to look at the mummies.
“There’s no other way without unwrapping them and permanently damaging their remains,” she said.
The scan of Amen-Nestawy’s mummy showed that the priest’s body was shorter than his wrappings and that his spinal fracture was so severe that it couldn’t have happened before his death, according to doctors.
They say the fracture could have been the result of an early grave robbery. Doctors also found a circular object in the middle of his chest that appeared to be a two-centimeter-wide amulet.
Experts will study the results for a few months.
Video and images taken during the CT scans will be a part of the exhibit at the St. Louis Art Museum.
The museum owns Amen-Nestawy’s mummy and two others belong to the Washington University’s Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum. The mummies of Pet-Menekh, a priest from the 3rd or 4th century B.C., and Henut Wedjebu, a 13th-century B.C. woman, are on loan to the St. Louis Art Museum.
Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com
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