US Museum Unwraps Mummy's Story

Manila Bulletin, February 4, 2013 | Go to article overview

US Museum Unwraps Mummy's Story


RICHMOND, Virginia (AP) - Using modern technology, a Virginia museum is working to unwrap the story behind one of the earliest surviving Egyptian mummies.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond partnered this week with a medical imaging center to complete a CT scan on Tjeby, its 4,000-year-old mummy, in hopes of piecing together more information about the mummy itself and better understanding the early history of the mummification process.

While it isn't the first time a mummy has gone under the digital knife, only a handful from the time period have been examined in this fashion. The information gathered will help provide greater detail of the body, create a 3-D digital model and even reconstruct the face of the mummy that has been on display off and on since being acquired by the museum in 1953.

Little is known about Tjeby, who was buried in a rock-cut tomb at a site known as Sheikh Farag in upper Egypt and excavated in 1923.

What museum officials do know is that he dates to between 2150 and 2030 BCE, a time of instability in Egypt, with the breakdown of central authority and economic decline. Previous research suggests Tjeby was 25 to 40 years old when he died.

Experts hope a closer look at data will help piece together more biographical information, such as Tjeby's specific age, diet and cause of death. …

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