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Petamenophis (Padiamenemipet), an Egyptian Child Mummy Protected for Eternity: Revelation by Multidetector Computed Tomography

Martina, Maria, Cristina, MD*; Cesarani, Federico, MD; Boano, Rosa, PhD; Fiore Marochetti, Elisa, PhD§; Gandini, Giovanni, MD

Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography: March/April 2018 - Volume 42 - Issue 2 - p 178–183
doi: 10.1097/RCT.0000000000000662
Historical Article

Objective The objective of our work was to report the most recent findings obtained with multidetector computed tomography of a child mummy from the Roman period (119–123 CE) housed at the Egyptian Museum in Turin, Italy.

Methods Multidetector computed tomography and postprocessing were applied to understand the embalming techniques, the nature of a foreign object, and anthropometrical values. The information was compared with that from other mummies that were buried in the same tomb, but today housed in different museums.

Results New information regarding the embalming technique was revealed. Multidetector computed tomography allowed the identification of a knife-like metallic object, probably an amulet for the child's protection in the afterlife.

Conclusions Multidetector computed tomography and image postprocessing confirm their valuable role in noninvasive studies in ancient mummies and provided evidence of a unique cultural practice in the late history of Ancient Egypt such as placing a knife possibly as an amulet.

From the *Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University of Turin, Turin; †Department of Radiology, Cardinal Guglielmo Massaia Hospital, Asti; and ‡Laboratory of Physical Anthropology, Department of Life Sciences and Systems Biology, and Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, University of Turin; §Superintendence for Archaeology, Fine Arts, and Landscape of the Metropolitan City of Turin; and ∥Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University of Turin, Italy.

Received for publication April 30, 2017; accepted June 20, 2017.

Correspondence to: Maria Cristina Martina, MD, Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University of Turin, Citta’ della Salute e della Scienza, Ospedale Molinette, Via Genova 3, 10126 Torino, Italy (e-mail:

All authors have no financial relationships to disclose.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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