Digitally excavating the hidden secrets of an Egyptian animal mummy: a comparative neutron and x-ray CT study

Carla A. Raymond, Joseph J. Bevitt

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    Abstract

    Here we present further analysis and interpretation of our recently published work (Raymond et al. 2019) on a mummified cat (IA.2402) on loan from the Australian Institute of Archaeology (AIA) in Melbourne, Australia. This was the first published case to implement Xray and neutron CT to votive animal mummies, and is the first in a series of similar studies undertaken at ANSTO. The application of neutron CT to this type of artefact was ideal to nondestructively study mummification techniques and learn about its hidden contents. Using a combination of X-ray and neutron CT provided valuable insight, both individually and collectively, revealing: a partial animal skeleton, an amulet, several layers of coarse and fine textile, and folded padding. Combining both techniques also allowed for complementary study of bones, soft tissue, and textile components. Use of multiple segmentation tools in 3D reconstruction and visualization software VG Studio Max 3.0 enabled detailed digital excavation of the sample, allowing for identification of species, age at death, and how textiles were used to shape and wrap the mummy. Results revealed the animal remains belong to a small, juvenile feline.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationNeutron radiography
    Subtitle of host publicationWCNR-11 : 11th World Conference on Neutron Radiography (WCNR-11) held the 2nd-7th September 2018 in Sydney, Australia
    EditorsUlf Garbe, Filomena Salvemini, Joseph J. Bevitt
    Place of PublicationMillersville, PA
    PublisherMaterials Research Forum LLC
    Pages250-255
    Number of pages6
    ISBN (Electronic)9781644900574
    ISBN (Print)9781644900567
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2020
    EventWorld Conference on Neutron Radiography (11th : 2018) - Sydney, Australia
    Duration: 2 Sep 20187 Sep 2018

    Publication series

    NameMaterials Research Proceedings
    PublisherMaterials Research Forum LLC
    Volume15
    ISSN (Print)2474-3941
    ISSN (Electronic)2474-395X

    Conference

    ConferenceWorld Conference on Neutron Radiography (11th : 2018)
    Abbreviated titleWCNR-11
    CountryAustralia
    CitySydney
    Period2/09/187/09/18

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright the Author(s) 2020. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

    Keywords

    • Neutron Tomography
    • Mummification
    • Segmentation
    • Non-Invasive
    • Non- Destructive
    • Cultural Heritage

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