Digitally Excavating the Hidden Secrets of an Egyptian Animal Mummy: a Comparative Neutron and X-ray CT Study

Digitally Excavating the Hidden Secrets of an Egyptian Animal Mummy: a Comparative Neutron and X-ray CT Study

Carla A. Raymond, Joseph J. Bevitt

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Abstract. Here we present further analysis and interpretation of our recently published work (Raymond et al. 2019) on a mummified cat (IA.2402) on loan from the Australian Institute of Archaeology (AIA) in Melbourne, Australia. This was the first published case to implement X-ray and neutron CT to votive animal mummies, and is the first in a series of similar studies undertaken at ANSTO. The application of neutron CT to this type of artefact was ideal to non-destructively study mummification techniques and learn about its hidden contents. Using a combination of X-ray and neutron CT provided valuable insight, both individually and collectively, revealing: a partial animal skeleton, an amulet, several layers of coarse and fine textile, and folded padding. Combining both techniques also allowed for complementary study of bones, soft tissue, and textile components. Use of multiple segmentation tools in 3D reconstruction and visualization software VG Studio Max 3.0 enabled detailed digital excavation of the sample, allowing for identification of species, age at death, and how textiles were used to shape and wrap the mummy. Results revealed the animal remains belong to a small, juvenile feline.

Neutron Tomography, Mummification, Segmentation, Non-Invasive, Non-Destructive, Cultural Heritage

Published online 1/5/2020, 6 pages
Copyright © 2020 by the author(s)
Published under license by Materials Research Forum LLC., Millersville PA, USA

Citation: Carla A. Raymond, Joseph J. Bevitt, Digitally Excavating the Hidden Secrets of an Egyptian Animal Mummy: a Comparative Neutron and X-ray CT Study, Materials Research Proceedings, Vol. 15, pp 250-255, 2020


The article was published as article 39 of the book Neutron Radiography

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