Three-dimensional computed tomography of the mummy Wenuhotep

Authors

  • Robert B. Pickering,

    1. The Children's Museum, Indianapolis, Indiana
    2. Department of Anthropology, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, Indiana
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Dewey J. Conces Jr.,

    1. Department of Radiology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Dr. Ethan M. Braunstein,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Radiology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana
    2. Department of Anthropology, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, Indiana
    • Department of Radiology, Indiana University Hospital, 926 W. Michigan St, Indianapolis, IN 46202
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Frank Yurco

    1. Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Computed tomography allows cross-sectional imaging of anthropological as well as clinical subjects. Recently, technical innovations have made three-dimensional reconstruction of these images feasible. We performed two-dimensional and three-dimensional computed tomography of a Late Period Egyptian mummy to reexamine findings seen on previous radiographic studies and to evaluate the usefulness of these techniques in paleopathology.

Two-dimensional images provided excellent anatomic detail. There was graphic depiction of the mummification process that corroborated information previously obtained from Egyptological studies. Three-dimensional reconstruction provided images of facial features as if the mummy had been unwrapped.

Three-dimensional computed tomography is a useful method of nondestructively evaluating paleopathological remains, and it may yield information not obtainable by any other means.

Ancillary