Computerised Tomography (CT) scans of a mummified male head from the Ptolemaic period

Karin Sowada, Janet Davey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


A mummified head of a man, NMR.32, was donated to the Nicholson Museum at the University of Sydney in 1860 by scholar-traveller Sir Charles Nicholson. Little was known about the head until it was radiocarbon dated to 204–49 cal BC. This date was confirmed by recent macroscopic examination and computerised tomography (CT) scans, which revealed further detail about the mummification technique. Of particular interest is the presence of moulded objects applied to the head and eyes, likely made of gilded beeswax. The high level of preservation and care taken in the mummification process attests to the social status of the individual and quality of the embalmer’s art in the Ptolemaic era.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGuardian of ancient Egypt
Subtitle of host publicationstudies in honor of Zahi Hawass
EditorsJanice Kamrin, Miroslav Bárta, Salima Ikram, Mark Lehner, Mohamed Megahed
Place of PublicationPrague
PublisherCharles University in Prague
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9788073089818, 9788073089801
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Egypt
  • Egyptian mummies
  • CT - Computerized tomography
  • Ptolemaic Period
  • Egyptian rituals


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