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Radiographers peer inside ancient mummies

11 July, 2012
Radiographers at BMI Shirley Oak Hospital with one of the mummies
Radiographers at BMI Shirley Oak Hospital with one of the mummies

Staff at the BMI Shirley Oak Hospital worked with the British Museum to unlock secrets surrounding six ancient mummies, with the assistance of CT technology.

The radiology team at BMI Shirley Oaks Hospital, led by radiology manager Kathy Gunn, offered the use of their equipment to help further the research of the British Museum.

Dr Daniel Antoine, curator of physical anthropology at the museum commented: “This opportunity provided to us by BMI Shirley Oaks Hospital gives an unparalleled opportunity to source scientific data that will help us shed light on the physical anthropology, family relationships, life expectancy, nutrition, health, disease and the causes of death of these mummies."

On the day the biggest surprise came from a female mummy who was believed to be headless, but CT scanning revealed that the head was tucked forward into the upper chest.

Radiology manager Kathy Gunn said, “We were delighted when the British Museum accepted our offer to help them with their on-going research.

“The technology we have at the hospital is so advanced that it can be used to help scientists learn about the lives of people who lived hundreds or even thousands of years ago.”

A video account from the day can be viewed here.

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