The study, published in Nature Communications, found that modern Egyptians share more ancestry with Sub-Saharan Africans than ancient Egyptians did, whereas ancient Egyptians were found to be most closely related to ancient people from the Near East.
Egyptian archaeologists have discovered 17 mummies in desert catacombs in Minya province, an “unprecedented” find for the area south of Cairo, the antiquities ministry announced Saturday.
Within the framework of the Middle Kingdom Theban Project, an international mission under the auspices of the University of Alcalá (UAH, Spain) has uncovered over 50 clay jars filled with embalming materials for the mummification of the ancient Egyptian vizier Ipi during the cleaning of the courtyard under his tomb number (TT 315).
Archaeologists may soon unravel the mysteries of ancient Egypt using a new imaging technique that offers a better look inside mummies without removing a single piece of wrapping.
The new kind of CT scan has been successfully tested on cat mummies from the collections of the South Australian Museum. While the exact ages of these mummies are unknown, feline mummies were fairly common in Egypt from about 600 B.C. until A.D. 250.
Typical CT scans use a single type of x-ray to take images of an object from multiple angles and then create a digital image of the insides. Such scans can tell the difference between muscle and bone based on their relative density. But this can present challenges for mummies: As they get older, their skin and muscles dry up and become denser, while the bones lose marrow and become less dense.
The new technique, known as atomic number imaging, instead uses two kinds of x-rays to peer inside stuff and figure out the hidden composition based on a material’s atomic number—one of the defining characteristics of a chemical element. For instance, the scans can distinguish between bones filled with calcium and phosphorous and muscle, which is mostly carbon.
“It’s a technique that can be done on any CT scanner,” says lead author James Bewes, a radiology resident at the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia, who describes the work in the August issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science.
“We can dive that little bit deeper into the makeup of what we’re imaging,” Bewes says. “We’re trying to tell how they lived and how they died through their bones and through their muscles.”
The burial of a lady called ” Sattjeni ” from the 12th Dynasty (Middle Kingdom) was discovered buried inside two wooden coffins.
A mummy from ancient Egypt was heavily tattooed with sacred symbols, which may have served to advertise and enhance the religious powers of the woman who received them more than 3,000 years ago.
Absolutely fascinating video from the British Museum on the conservation of a crocodile mummy – the largest mummy in the collection (about 4 m long). They talk about the processes in conserving such an amazing mummy and also scientific studies being undertaken on how it was created.