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J Craniofac Surg. 2012 Jul;23(4):1159-62. doi: 10.1097/SCS.0b013e31824e25c2.

Evaluation of the dentoskeletal characteristics of an Egyptian mummy with three-dimensional computer analysis.

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Departments of Maxillofacial Surgery, Catholic University Medical School, Rome, Italy.



Since the introduction of Roentgen rays in medical diagnostics, mummies have been subjected to radiographic and cephalometric studies. These have, among others, the advantage of providing details that are not directly visible for inspection without the need to tamper with the relics. The acquisition of three-dimensional imaging techniques has also extended the possibility of noninvasive investigation, so that many famous mummies, such as those of Tutankhamun and Ramses II, underwent three-dimensional computed tomography (CT).


Computed tomography scan of Egyptian mummy of a 20- to 30-year-old woman found in Fayum and dating from the second century B.C. has been performed. DICOM data of the CT scan have been processed by means of a software for three-dimensional CT imaging processing. The purpose of this report was to present the somatic and skeletal characteristics of the mummy.


Thanks to the image processing, a "virtual reconstruction" of the original facial features of the mummy has been obtained, and a reliable cephalometric tracing could be performed. The data derived from cephalometric tracings were similar to those published on other studies on a group of Egyptian mummies and on a sample of Iowa adult males.


In our opinion, three-dimensional image processing of CT scan is useful to perform noninvasive morphologic investigations on archeological find, to allow virtual correction of postmortem artifact and to perform reliable cephalometric tracings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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