For some 2,000 years, a collection of mummified animals have been preserved, with details about their life and death hidden under layers of muslin. Now, researchers have found a way to digitally peel back the layers and “dissect” the animal underneath using a high resolution scanner.
Researchers studied three animals—a cat, a bird and a snake—in a seven-year collaborative project by Swansea University’s College of Engineering and the University’s Egypt Centre.
The team used a detailed scanning process called micro-computerized tomography (CT) to better understand how the animals were mummified, conditions in which they were kept, possible causes of death and the handling damage mummies sustained. The findings were published yesterday in the journal Scientific Reports.
“This paper pushed resolution and analysis to its limits, revealing more than could be determined through lower-resolution methods or even through real-life unwrapping,” Richard Johnston of Swansea University, who led the research, tells Matt