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Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Roman-Period Egyptian Mummy Analyzed

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

mummy particle acceleratorEVANSTON, ILLINOIS—PBS News Hour reports that an intact Egyptian mummy has been examined with a particle accelerator at Argonne National Laboratory in order to learn about its material composition. The mummy, the remains of a girl who lived in the Faiyum Oasis in the late first century A.D. and died at the age of five, was discovered more than 100 years ago and has been housed at Northwestern University. An earlier CT scan revealed an object wrapped to the girl’s belly, and a bowl-shaped object in her skull. Cell and molecular biologist Stuart Stock of Northwestern University said the particle accelerator's high-energy X-rays indicate the material in the skull could be solidified pitch. The scientists are continuing to analyze the results of the tests. For more, go to “Heart Attack of the Mummies.”

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