Archaeology Magazine Archive

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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X-rays and computed tomography (CT ) scans of artifacts and mummies have been conducted for years now, but the unusual insights from these techniques keep coming.

X-ray tunnel mummified ibis anatomical specimen
CT imaging was used to look inside a mummified ibis from ancient Egypt (300 B.C.-A.D. 30), and showed that the bird had been packed with food, such as snails, for the afterlife.
(Courtesy Andrew Wade and the Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University, Division of Anthropology, ANT.006924.004)
Curators from Amsterdam's Rijkmuseum
transported their twelfth-century South Indian
sculpture of Shiva to the most powerful X-ray tunnel at the Rotterdam customs authority. They found, as they had suspected, that it was cast in solid bronze.
(Courtesy Rijksmuseum)
(Courtesy Stephanie Panzer, Trauma Center Murnau)