The particle accelerator reveals buried objects with an ancient Egyptian mummy: SCIENCE: Tech Times


Cosmic particles reveal how it is inside a pyramid

Researchers used the Advanced Photon Source particle accelerator to discover the mysteries of a mummy without the risk of damaging it. What did the researchers find in the body?

( Northwestern University )

Scientists used a high-energy particle accelerator to closely observe the interior of an ancient Egyptian mummy. The study involves the mummified body of a girl about five years old when she died in the late 1st century AD

High energy particle accelerator used to uncover mysteries of the girl's mummy

to reveal some of the mysteries of The mummy, the researchers conducted an experiment using Advanced Photon Source, the brightest source of X-rays in the Western Hemisphere at the Argonne National Laboratory.

Researchers want to know how the mummified body was prepared around 1,900 years ago, the qualities of its bones, the objects with which it had been buried and the materials present in its brain cavity.

Objects buried with the girl's mummified body

It was the first time the researchers used a high-energy accelerator particle to study a human mummy. The tool is often aimed at physics-based research, but the experiment allowed researchers to look inside without risking damage.

The researchers were able to examine the objects that were buried with the girl's body. The first results revealed wires in the teeth of the mummy and a small mysterious object wrapped in the stomach, which some of the researchers think, albeit with uncertainty, is a stone. The researchers also found fragments possibly of an object made of tar placed in their skull after the brain was removed during the process of mummification.

"This is a unique experiment, a three-dimensional puzzle," said Stuart Stock, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "We have confirmed that it is likely that the fragments in the brain cavity are solidified, it is not a crystalline material."

Realistic portrait embedded in the mummy's wrappings

The mummy, wearing gold jewelry and crimson robe, also has an incrusted portrait, a realistic painting of the individual incorporated into the wrappings. The mummy is only one of 100 in the world with a painted portrait that was embedded in the upper envelope where your head should be.

This style is introduced by the Romans, therefore, the badysis of the mummy will also offer clues from the researchers about the portraits of the Roman-Egyptian mummy, which have a different style than the more familiar Egyptian mummies. The latter usually presents three-dimensional faces of the style of sculpture.

"It's really pretty weird," said Essi Ronkko of the Block Museum of Art at Northwestern. "You can not study a mummy like this often, this is invaluable because it is a completely intact mummy."

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