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Type: Journal article
Title: Imaging ancient and mummified specimens: dual-energy CT with effective atomic number imaging of two ancient Egyptian cat mummies
Author: Bewes, J.
Morphett, A.
Pate, F.
Henneberg, M.
Low, A.
Kruse, L.
Craig, B.
Hindson, A.
Adams, E.
Citation: Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 2016; 8:173-177
Publisher: Elsevier
Issue Date: 2016
ISSN: 2352-409X
Statement of
James M. Bewes, Antony Morphett, F. Donald Pate, Maciej Henneberg, Andrew J. Low, Lars Kruse, Barry Craig, Aphrodite Hindson, Eleanor Adams
Abstract: In mummified animals and humans, soft tissues like skin and muscle become more dense over time due to dehydration. At the same time, bone becomes less dense as marrow is replaced by air. This is a problem for the radiological examination of ancient specimens, as currently used methods such as single-energy CT and MRI rely on density and water content to produce tissue contrast in an image. Dual energy CT with effective atomic number imaging overcomes this problem, as the elemental constituents and consequently effective atomic number of a specimen remain relatively constant over time. This case study of two ancient Egyptian cat mummies demonstrates that effective atomic number imaging can differentiate desiccated soft tissues from low-density bone in ancient remains. Effective atomic number imaging has the potential for superior tissue contrast resolution when compared to single energy CT and can be used to provide new paleoradiological perspectives.
Keywords: Paleoradiology; computed tomography; Ancient Egypt; mummies; paleopathology; effective atomic number; dual-energy CT; animal mummies
Rights: © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
RMID: 0030052950
DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2016.06.009
Appears in Collections:Anatomical Sciences publications

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