Several Egyptian mummies belonging to the Cinquantenaire Museum (the Royal Art and History museums) were scanned at 10am on Saturday. They were scanned by the Department of Medical imagery at the Saint Luc University clinic in Brussels. This initiative, a first for Belgium, was for the exhibition “Sarcophagi – Under the Nout stars”, which will be at the Cinquantenaire Museum from the 15th of October to the 20th of April.
A large number of the Cinquantenaire Museum mummies were x-rayed for research in the 90s. They were scanned recently as part of a thesis project on them.
There have been three scanning sessions since August. 10 human mummies and 15 animal mummies have been scanned. This non-invasive modern method allows the mummified remains to be thoroughly examined, without damaging them. The collaboration between the Medical imagery service and the Philips engineering team has created both 2D and 3D images.
The first results will be presented to the public in a projection space during the exhibition “Sarcophagi – under the Nout stars”. They will provide information about the individual’s life span, as well as the state of their health when they died. More generally, they will add to the limited written and iconographic sources about funeral practices and embalmer’s technical gestures during the mummification process. The results will continue to be studied after the exhibition.