Ancient Egyptian animal mummies get fresh look with CT scan technology

Researchers got a glimpse into the past, examining 13 mummified Egyptian critters from more than 2,000 years ago in a CT scan.

The thirteen creatures, including a crocodile, three fish, two cats, a mouse, five birds and one scarab beetle, were seen for the first time using a computed tomography, or CT, scan in Amsterdam.

“The animal mummies were in vogue between the seventh century BC and the second century AD,” Ben van den Bercken, curator at the Allard Pierson museum, said, according to a Dutch newspaper report.

Scarab beetles and crocodiles were revered in ancient Egypt, as symbolic of Khepri, a god associated with the rising sun, and Sobek, a complex god associated with fertility and martial power.

The crocodile has never been removed from its bandages — and with a CT scan, it doesn’t have to be.

“With the high-resolution imaging … we can really see everything,” CT technician Nick Lobé said, according to the report.

The cats, fish, birds, scarab and a crocodile were mummified more than 2000 years ago.
The cats, fish, birds, scarab and a crocodile were mummified more than 2,000 years ago.
EPA
Allard Pierson and Amsterdam UMC have entered into a special collaboration to scan these unexamined mummies.
Allard Pierson Museum and Amsterdam UMC have entered into a special collaboration to scan these unexamined mummies.
ANP/AFP via Getty Images

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