Notes on the history of the radiological study of Egyptian mummies: from X-rays to new imaging techniques

La Radiologia medica
P Cosmacini, P Piacentini

Abstract

A few centuries after the practice of mummification was finally abolished in the seventh century A.D., mummies began to capture the collective imagination, exerting a mysterious fascination that continues to this day. From the beginning, the radiological study of Egyptian mummies permitted the collection not only of medical data but also of anthropological and archaeological evidence. The first radiological study of an Egyptian mummy was performed by Flinders Petrie shortly after the discovery of X-rays in 1895, and since then, radiology has never stopped investigating these special patients. By the end of the 1970s, computed tomography (CT) scanning permitted more in-depth studies to be carried out without requiring the mummies to be removed from their cartonnage. CT images can be used to obtain a three-dimensional reconstruction of the mummy that provides important new information, in part thanks to the virtual endoscopy technique known as "fly through". Moreover, starting from CT data and using sophisticated graphics software, one can reconstruct an image of the face of the mummified individual at the time of his or her death. The history of imaging, from its origins until now, from the simplest to the most sophisticated tec...Continue Reading

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Related Concepts

Optical Image Reconstruction
Mummies
Diagnostic Radiologic Examination
Tomography, X-Ray Computerized Axial
Imaging, Three-Dimensional, Computer Assisted
Historical Events, 17th Century
Historical Events, 18th Century
Historical Events, 19th Century
History,20th Century
Cessation of Life

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