Oklahoma researchers using new technology to reveal information about ancient mummies
SHAWNEE, Okla. – On Thursday, a local hospital received two new patients who haven’t been alive for a long time.
St. Anthony Shawnee Hospital is the new home for a pair of mummies.
Through modern technology, anthropologists and radiologists hope to discover new information about the persons under the bandages.
TuTu, the Egyptian mummy, is 2,400-years-old.
Curious researchers hope to find out who is behind the second mummy, an unnamed person from the Roman Era.
Both mummies are displayed in the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art.
The mummies were blessed by monks before being secured in climate controlled boxes, then sent to St. Anthony Shawnee Hospital for x-rays.
“We think Tutu’s internal organs were taken out, mummified and then returned to the chest cavity. 20 some years ago, those were shadows, now we should know for certain, “ said Dane Pollei, director and chief curator.
After arriving at the emergency room, gurneys were used to deliver them to this 64 slice CT scanner.
“He or she has waited a long time for this,” said Skinner.
Radiologists hope to confirm the sex of the mummies, but they think they’re females.
“We can actually build a 3D model of what the mummy looks like, previously that wasn’t possible because the resolution wasn’t there,” said Ryan Skinner, a radiologist.
Since they’re mummies, high-dose radiation won’t harm them, allowing researchers an in-depth peek inside.
“Every new technology, when we ask new questions, objects in museums can tell us new stories,” said Robert Pickering, Ph.D., an anthropologist. “We learned how they lived and we learned how they died.”
The mummies transport and scans were made possible through donations.
Everyone involved will be studying the results, hoping to uncover new information about the mystery past of Tutu and the Roman mummy.