An exceptional new way of scanning mummified tombs was carried out in Egyptsince six impressively sealed animal coffins, still sealed after 2500 years, were practically opened by a team of researchers using neutron tomography after several unsuccessful attempts to look inside the coffins using x-rays.

The scientists found that the coffins contained the remains of lizards, as well as fabrics that may have once wrapped small bodies, and lead that could have had a magical hue. The team’s study is published today in the journal Nature.

“The bones of the animals are consistent with preserved small lizards in North Africa, which are often depicted as figurines on coffins,” said Daniel O’Flynn, an X-ray imaging specialist at the British Museum and lead author of the study. “This is the first time such sealed boxes have been tested using neutrons to confirm that the remains of a lizard remain inside.”

The researchers wrote that neutron imaging is a useful alternative to X-rays due to its ability to image organic material, while X-rays are attenuated by higher atomic number elements.

Scanning coffins and sarcophagi is a useful way to non-invasively learn about Egyptian mummification processes and cultural beliefs.

Three caskets came from the ancient city of Naukratis, two were found at Tell el Yehudiyeh, and the origin of two is unknown. Six boxes came to the British Museum in the second half of the 19th century.

The boxes are made of copper and covered with animal figurines, including lizards, eels and cobras. Some figures were a mixture of eels and cobras with human heads. Boxes decorated with eels and lizards were associated with Atum, the solar deity and creator.

Source: Digital Trends

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I am Garth Carter and I work at Gadget Onus. I have specialized in writing for the Hot News section, focusing on topics that are trending and highly relevant to readers. My passion is to present news stories accurately, in an engaging manner that captures the attention of my audience.


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