A collaborative team of Stanford radiologists, imaging technicians, and Egyptologists recently analyzed Irethorrou, a mummy from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF), using CT scanning. The visualizations are on exhibit through next August at the Legion of Honor, a part of the FAMSF.
Using two different methods — a high-resolution CT scanner already in clinical use, and a more powerful research scanner that achieves even better resolution — Fahrig [Rebecca Fahrig, PhD, associate professor of radiology at Stanford –ed.] obtained some 100 billion “voxels,” the three-dimensional cubic equivalents of pixels, each measuring 0.2 micron on a side. “We went for as much CT data as we could get,” she said. “We knew we were only going to get one shot at it.”
The resulting copious data set can be accessed on demand to produce exquisitely detailed visualizations of, say, a hand or foot or head should somebody ask for it. This has applications beyond Egyptology for use in anatomical training: It’s difficult to obtain this kind of high-resolution image from a live person’s body, because the radiation would damage living tissue.
Link: Very Postmortem: Mummies and Medicine
Stanford press statement: Stanford scans of mummy to be featured in San Francisco museum exhibition …
Flashbacks: Siemens CT Scanner Reveals Contents of Bust of Nefertiti; CT Suggests King Tutankhamen Died from an Infected Leg Wound ; One of The Oldest Medical Mysteries May Have Been Solved ; Computed Tomography Images Ancient Egyptian Mummy; Welcome to the 21st Century!