Last week the Brooklyn Museum took four of their ancient Egyptian mummies to the North Shore University Hospital in Long Island, as they were in dying need of a CT-scan. Pure Archaeology 2.0, not only because of the use of modern technology, but because the museum staff used ‘the web 2.0’ to document their trip and the scanning of the mummies as it was happening on Twitter – #mummyCT – and Flickr. Over at pyramidofman.com there’s an elaborate report on the mummies’ journey, but here are some of the highlights of this episode of CSI: Mummy:
Mummy ‘Lady Hor’ is in fact a man
Tweet by the Brooklyn Museum:
“its a boy! – scrotum and penis pretty well preserved, but the anthropoid coffins says woman but going for closer look #mummyCT“
The CT-scan did show breast forms on the cartonnage – not on the body – which makes this even more curious. Transgender practices in ancient Egypt?
Also found, but less shocking were natron sacks and four wrapped organs inside Lady Hor.
Slideshow of the Mummies visit to the hospital for CT Scanning
They forgot to take the brain out?
Bennu writes on the second mummy: “Until this CT scan very little was known about mummy #2 who lived roughly around the time 300-400 BC. The scan showed that he was well preserved, had no organs and showed the brain preserved in the skull, the nose not being cracked to remove the brain. It even showed a preserved beard as indicated by his portrait.”
A random fact Tweet from the press conference
“@brooklynmuseum started doing non-invasive xrays of mummies in 1936 – much better quality in CT scans today“
Reed found in Pasebakhaienipets esophagus
There is no official theory yet as to why this object was placed in Pasebakhaienipet’s throat, but the Brooklyn Museum promised to soon publish more information on the analysis of these 4 mummies on their blog, so keep posted!
As a conclusion I can only say, I wish more research teams and projects were this open about their discoveries and would report them to the public that instantaniously. Brooklyn Museum, please keep that awesome attitude!