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Cross-section scan of mummy.
Research_

Mummy Project

Investigating four Egyptian mummies and one coffin
The Mummy Project is an interdisciplinary research project combining physical anthropology, Egyptology, digital imaging, scientific illustration and conservation, to investigate four Egyptian mummies and one coffin.

About the project

The mummies and coffin being investigated are:

  • the cedar wood coffin for the lady Mer-Neith-it-es, with faded decoration
  • heavily disturbed human remains and artefacts within the Mer-Neith-it-es coffin
  • the well-preserved mummy of an adult male found within the coffin for Padiashiakhet
  • the well-preserved mummy of an adult male found within the coffin for Meruah
  • the well-preserved mummy of a small boy called Horus.

The project investigates the coffin of Mer-Neith-it-es and the unstudied remains that it contains, including CT scanning the coffin and its contents. In addition, the project has CT scanned the mummies of Padiashiakhet, Meruah and Horus, building on x-ray and CT scanning conducted in 1998–99 and 2009. This research will investigate aspects of biology, genetics, diet, disease, burial practice and processes of mummification. It will also help determine (for Mer-Neith-it-es) and clarify (for Padiashiakhet, Meruah & Horus) age at death and biological sex.

The images and research generated by this project shape the presentation of a dedicated Mummy Room within the Chau Chak Wing Museum. This exhibition will explore how science and archaeology work together to help us better understand the past.


Featured image (top of the page): CT image of the mummy of the boy Horus, courtesy of Macquarie Medical imaging.