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Radiology. 1994 Oct;193(1):269-72.

Skull of a 5,300-year-old mummy: reproduction and investigation with CT-guided stereolithography.

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  • 1Department of Radiodiagnosis, University of Innsbruck, Austria.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

In September 1991, a mummified corpse was discovered soon after it was released by the receding ice of the Similaun glacier in the Tyrolean Alps. This body proved to be an astonishingly well-preserved man from the late Neolithic Age or early Bronze Age. To preserve the fragile mummy, scientific investigations were required to be as noninvasive and nondestructive as possible.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

A radiologic investigation that included conventional radiography, digital radiography, and whole-body computed tomography (CT) was performed from the CT data, the skull was duplicated by means of stereolithography.

RESULTS:

The copy of the prehistoric skull was validated by means of comparison of measurements obtained from the original CT images and from external physical measurements of the intact head of the mummy.

CONCLUSION:

The CT images, radiologic findings, and duplicated skull are expected to provide anthropologists and other interested scientists relatively accurate information without the need to handle the mummy, to expose it to the considerable risks of repeated partial thawing, or to perform invasive exploratory studies such as autopsy.

PMID:
8090905
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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