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3D scanning helps scientists unwrap the secrets of ancient mummies

Take a look inside some thousand-year-old human remains.


Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Internet Culture

Posted on Jul 28, 2015   Updated on May 28, 2021, 6:50 am CDT

When dealing with ancient mummified remains, archaeologists are understandably wary. Mummies are an incredible resource for learning more about long-dead civilizations, but too much handling could cause serious damage.

At London’s Wellcome Collection, this problem is solved using a hospital CT scanner. After a quick trip to the scanning room, researchers can examine the mummies in detail without performing any physically invasive procedures.

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This video shows three mummies being scanned to create 3D models of the remains, which can tell us a great deal about how these people lived and died.

Wellcome Collection

As one researcher points out, this technique can also be a very useful for identifying counterfeit mummies without removing the outer layer of wrapping.

Sceengrab via Wellcome Collection/YouTube

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*First Published: Jul 28, 2015, 12:20 pm CDT