Science » Technologies and discoveries
Author`s name Ольга Савка

New scanning technology reveals remarkable details of mummified Egyptian child

Egyptologists do not have to unwrap mummies from their veils anymore

Scientists meticulously examined the mummy of a child with the help of the computer tomography. The results of the research – 3D  high-resolution images of the ancient mummy, shocked the whole scientific world. Specialists were also perplexed to find out that human ancestors were dying at their very young age.

The parents of the deceased child carefully prepared their offspring for the journey to another world, the Kingdom of Amentet (the Goddess of the Dead). It is noteworthy that the Egyptian hieroglyph designating Amentet literally translates as “the west.” They removed the liver, stomach, lungs and other internal organs from the body and placed them in brine. The abdominal cavity was washed and then perfumed. The scroll of the Book of the Dead, as well as the jars filled with the insides were placed between the child's legs. The tiny body of the little girl was enveloped in the resin-soaked veils; the girl's face was covered with a gilded mask. All of the above-mentioned procedures were performed on account of the fact that the deceased individual was a vindictive and disturbing being.

Virtual autopsy of the Egyptian mummy - Photo gallery

The analysis of the mummy thrilled Egyptologists: the ritual, which ancient Egyptians performed about two millennia ago, reached its goal. The child of female sex, the body of which was preserved in the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, San Jose, since 1930, let modern scientists come to an amazing discovery.

It is worth mentioning that ancient Egyptians believed that physical death did not mark the absolute death of a human being. They were going to eat, drink and lead enjoyable lives in another world, although they thought that the new body, which they would own in another world, would not differ much from the one that they had on earth. According to Egyptian mythology, the deceased humans, or their souls, to be more precise, come up to the ground surface and either roam up to heaven or wander across the kingdom of shadows. There is only one fact that confuses modern scientists: the tradition to dismember and burn the dead. Most likely, such a custom testifies to the fact that the dead would not be able to return to life in their erstwhile physical bubbles.

Specialists of the Stanford University and of the California-based company Silicon Graphics used one of the five best scanning machines in the world, CT-Scanner, to analyze the mummy of the Egyptian girl. Sixty thousand photographs allowed to create a 3D computer model of the mummy.

The modern technology unveiled remarkable features of the Egyptian mummy. Scientists discovered that the body had been imbued with wood tar; there was a gilded disk resting on the chest. The cut, which the embalmer made, was covered with a gilded disk engraved with four guardian deities on edges
and the udjat eye in the center of the disk to heal wounds.

The body of the three or a four-year-old girl is not marked with any external injuries or mutilations. Specialists of the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum believe that Sherit, which means “the little one” in ancient Egyptian, most likely died of internal diseases, indigestion, for example.

All the veils, in which the mummy was enveloped, were marked with hieroglyphs, which describe the precise origin of this or that mummy. It goes without saying that it is impossible to unwrap a mummy from its shrouds without destroying the corpse itself. New technologies promise a new solution to this complicated problem. “Egyptologists were simply amazed. We finally have at least one mummy from a thousand of them, which we will not have to unwrap completely,” one of the specialists said.

Paul Brown, a researcher at the biocomputation center and organizer of the mummy team at Stanford, said that the new technology allowed to take a virtual journey in the mummy's head and body.

Igor Bukker

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