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.
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.
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.
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.
*Department of Radiology, Faculty of Medicine, Kasr Al Ainy; and †Ministry of State for Antiquities, Egypt, Cairo.
Received for publication October 10, 2013; accepted October 12, 2013.
Reprints: Sahar N. Saleem, MBBCh, MSc, MD, 4 St, 49 Mokattam, 11571, Cairo, Egypt (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
The authors declare no conflict of interest.