Imaging ancient and mummified specimens: Dual-energy CT with effective atomic number imaging of two ancient Egyptian cat mummies

James Bewes, Anthony Morphett, F Donald Pate, Maciej Henneberg, Andrew Low, Lars Kruse, Barry Craig, Aphrodite Hinson, Eleanor Adams

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    2 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    In mummified animals and humans, soft tissues like skin and muscle become more dense over time due to dehydration. At the same time, bone becomes less dense as marrow is replaced by air. This is a problem for the radiological examination of ancient specimens, as currently used methods such as single-energy CT and MRI rely on density and water content to produce tissue contrast in an image. Dual energy CT with effective atomic number imaging overcomes this problem, as the elemental constituents and consequently effective atomic number of a specimen remain relatively constant over time. This case study of two ancient Egyptian cat mummies demonstrates that effective atomic number imaging can differentiate desiccated soft tissues from low-density bone in ancient remains. Effective atomic number imaging has the potential for superior tissue contrast resolution when compared to single energy CT and can be used to provide new paleoradiological perspectives.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)173-177
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
    Volume8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016

    Keywords

    • Ancient Egypt
    • Animal mummies
    • Computed tomography
    • Dual-energy CT
    • Effective atomic number
    • Mummies
    • Paleopathology
    • Paleoradiology

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Imaging ancient and mummified specimens: Dual-energy CT with effective atomic number imaging of two ancient Egyptian cat mummies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this