Nuclear science unravels mysteries of ancient mummies

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Washington, July 8 (ANI): A study has said that advanced nuclear science can shed new light into the well-being and nutrition of ancient mummies.

Paleoradiology uses nuclear technologies such as X-rays, computed tomography (CT), and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to study artefacts, skeletons, mummies and fossils.

Many museums worldwide use the nuclear technologies to discover otherwise hidden details that piece together historic puzzles.

X-ray technology has been around since 1896, and CT since 1979. Advances since then make the technologies increasingly exact, and quick.

Newer prototypes of computed tomography can give additional insights, including both about the well-being and nutrition of ancient mummies.

The technology has grown so rapidly that there now is a data overload, experts report.

In September 2008, an advanced CT technology called iCT ("i" for intelligent) was used in a Chicago, US, hospital to study a wealthy Egyptian priestess named Meresamum.

She was the first mummy scanned with iCT.

Through 3D images, paleoradiologists virtually are able to unravel the mummy. The approach is non-intrusive, leaving the mummy intact, untouched, and unharmed.

The measurements of Meresamum were so precise the scan was able to extract 30 billion measurements.

The raw data collected was 1000 times greater than that available in the 1990s. The resulting profile of the priestess provided details about her looks, health, eating habits and lifestyle.

The full data will take more than a year to analyze. (ANI)

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