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Medical Imaging of Mummies and Bog Bodies

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

Mummies are human remains with preservation of nonbony
tissue. Mummification by natural influences results in
so-called natural mummies, while mummification induced
by active (human) intervention results in so-called artificial
mummies, although many cultures practiced burial rites
which to some degree involved both natural and artificial
mummification. Since they are so uniquely well-preserved,
mummies may give many insights into mortuary practices
and burial rites. Specifically, the presence of soft tissues may
expand the scope of paleopathological studies. Many recent
mummy studies have focused on the development and application
of non-destructive methods for examining mummies,
especially radiography and CT scanning with advanced
3D visualizations. Indeed, the development of commercially
available CT scanners in the 1970s meant that for the first
time the 3D internal structure of mummies and bog bodies
could be studied non-destructively. This article describes
the history of mummy radiography and CT scanning, and
some of the problems and opportunities involved in applying
these techniques, derived for clinical use, on naturally
and artificially preserved ancient human bodies. Unless severely
degraded, bone is quite readily visualized, but accurate
imaging of preserved soft tissues, and pathological lesions
therein, may require considerable post-image capture
processing of CT data.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftGerontology
Vol/bind2010
Udgave nummer56
Sider (fra-til)441–448
Antal sider8
ISSN0304-324X
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2010

Bibliografisk note

Published online: December 11, 2009
Copyright © 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.

ID: 21139026