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3D Scans Unmask Secrets of Mummified Animals

What is mummification?

A mummy is a dead human or an animal that has been preserved for years. Mummification is the process of preserving the body of the dead from further decay by either drying or embalming.

The ancient Egyptians mummified humans as well as animals. This was because they believed that there was a life after death. They also believed that the body in this life could be taken over to the afterlife.

So when people died, they were mummified and buried along with items they would need such as pots, clothes and gold. Even pets were mummified along with their owners so that they could be together in the afterlife.

Developments in the field of Science & Technology have led to the use of micro-CT techniques to study the mummified bodies of the dead. Recently, scientists used that technology to digitally analyze the remains of three mummified animals – a snake, bird and cat.

The animals were at least 2,000 years old. They were part of the Egypt Centre’s collection at Swansea University in England.

What did the study reveal?

Researchers said that the details revealed by the scans were ‘extraordinary’. They used non-invasive imaging, which generates 3D images. These images are 100 times better than normal medical CT scans.

The cat’s teeth in the 3D scan showed that it was less than 5 months old when it died. Further, the study revealed that the bird was similar to a Eurasian kestrel (a type of bird) while the snake was a young Egyptian Cobra. The scans also revealed how the animals were killed.

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