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Head of 2,700-year-old mummy reveals new secrets about ancient Egyptians, recent study

Baku, July 29, AZERTAC

Archaeologists and hospital staff in England work together as they perform CT scans on the head of an ancient Egyptian mummy, which was discovered in the 1820s and is 2,700 years old, according to Egypt Today.

A decapitated Egyptian mummy's head discovered in an attic in England has undergone a state-of-the-art CT scan to try and uncover its secrets.

Someone owned the mummy in Ramsgate, a seaside town in Thanet in East Kent, England. After the homeowner's death, his brother donated the head to Canterbury Museums and Galleries, according to ancient-origins.

X-rays taken in 2020 at Canterbury Crest University determined that the mummy was an adult female, but now a detailed CT scan has revealed a volume of new data about the mummy before her death. A CT scan involves taking a series of X-ray images from different angles around the body to produce a high-resolution map of the scanned body.

The searches provided a huge amount of information, ranging from the condition of the teeth, to diseases and method of preservation, to estimating the age and gender.

Scans revealed that the woman's brain had been removed at the first part of the cleansing and embalming procedures and rituals.

Embalmers used hammers and chisels to access the brain through the nasal bone, where they inserted an iron hook and slowly pulled the brain material out. The remains were retrieved by a spoon and the cranial cavity was washed with water.

Ironically, the ancient Egyptians believed a person's mind was locked up in their hearts and cared little about the brain, while CT scans show great diversity in how brains are removed.

CT scans revealed that the woman's tongue was well preserved and that her teeth were worn. The former stands as testimony to the advanced methodology of ancient preservatives while the latter indicates that the woman was on a long-standing diet of rough foods.

A "tube of unknown substance" was found trapped inside the mummy's left nostril. The same substance was identified in the spinal canal. The origins and composition of these obstructions are currently unknown, and may be recent, possibly from the Victorian era.

The team plans to use the newly acquired CT data to create a 3D replica of the woman's head. Furthermore, they will also attempt to reconstruct the woman's face in 3D "without revealing the actual artifacts".

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