Objective: The objective of this study was to study the role of multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) in the analysis of foreign objects found within or on the royal Egyptian mummies.
Methods: We studied MDCT images of 15 royal Egyptian mummies (1493-1156 BC) for the presence of foreign objects. We studied each found object for its location, morphology, dimensions, and density in correlation with the archeologic literature.
Results: We detected 14 objects in 6 mummies: a heart amulet, 3 Eye of Horus, 4 Sons of Horus, a crowned-Osiris amulet, 2 bracelets, 2 sets of beads/stones, and an arrowhead that may be linked to injury. The MDCT images suggested the material of the objects to be metal (n = 6), semiprecious stone (n = 1), quartzlike (faience) (n = 2), and fired clay (n = 5). Placement of an amulet within the heart supports our knowledge that its funeral purpose was meant for the purpose of protection.
Conclusions: Multidetector computed tomography offers a detailed noninvasive analysis of objects on/in mummies and differentiates funerary objects from those that may be related to cause of death.