Non-invasive investigations of human mummified remains by radiographic techniques

  • David R. Hunt
  • L. M. Hopper
Part of the The Man in the Ice book series (3262, volume 3)


Radiography has been used as a tool for mummy research practically since its discovery by Roentgen. Within the same year as Roentgens discovery, (1896) reported on an x-ray image taken of a mummy in Germany. The next year, Sir Flinders Petrie used x-rays to study a mummy at the British Museum but was constrained by the size and weight of the equipment and only imaged the feet. In 1897 in Vienna, a doctor named Block x-rayed a whole mummy for a medical study. Eminent Egyptologist, Georg Ebers studied these findings (El Mahdy, 1989: 75). Tuthmoses IV was x-rayed by Khayat in 1903 and the films were studied by G. Eliot Smith. Smith determined the remains were much younger than the age estimated from translated writings (Smith, 1914). The results of this report began a long debate concerning historical estimates of Pharaonic age versus the biological age of Thutmoses. Were the historical estimates wrong? Was Smith wrong in his assessment? Or could the mummy have been mis-identified?


Plain Film Radiocarbon Date Physical Anthropology Radiographic Technique Computer Tomography Image 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • David R. Hunt
    • 1
  • L. M. Hopper
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyNational Museum of Natural HistoryUSA

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