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Comput Med Imaging Graph. 2002 Jul-Aug;26(4):211-6.

High-resolution spiral computed tomography with multiplanar reformatting, 3D surface- and volume rendering: a non-destructive method to visualize ancient Egyptian mummification techniques.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Ancient Egyptians used mummification techniques to prevent their deceased from decay. This study evaluates the potential of computed tomography (CT) in determining these techniques in a non-destructive way. Twenty-five mummies were studied by using high-resolution spiral CT, 1mm slice thickness for the head and 3mm slice thickness for the rest of the body. Images were reconstructed with 3D, multiplanar reformatting and volume rendering. In all cases the used mummification techniques could be reconstructed. The way the brain was removed, the presence of chemicals, like resin and natron, could be detected and the way the intestines were handled could be made visible. The use of CT is indispensable as a non-destructive method in the reconstruction of mummification techniques.

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