Secrets, intimate details of teenage boy mummified 2,300 years ago revealed through CT scans
Just a few days ago, a CT scan of a 1,000-year-old Buddha statue revealed a mummified monk inside when it was sent for some restoration work.
The remains of a human being were discovered when the statue was subjected to the medical imaging technique. Researchers eventually found that the monk's organs were removed and replaced with a series of paper scrolls that had ancient Chinese inscriptions on them.
The monk was a Liuquan, a Buddhist master of the Chinese Meditation School. He lived and died almost 1,000 years ago. The analysis revealed several interesting details about the statue and the mummy. However, the researchers were baffled as to why the remains had been placed inside.
But wait. Digital scans have revealed something more.
A team of scientists has uncovered a number of secrets and intimate details about a teenage boy who was mummified about 2,300 years ago.
And just like the statue with the monk, this too is the outcome of a CT scan.
A team of scientists from Cairo University, led by Sahar Saleem, a professor of radiology at the faculty of medicine, had the mummy with them but didn't want to unwrap it over preservation concerns.
So, instead, they used CT scanning to know more about the body which was mummified about 2,300 years ago.
The scans revealed the body of the teenager was adorned with 39 precious amulets.
The glittering findings made the team conclude that the boy and his family were wealthy and of high social status.
Studies of the bone fusion after the scan concluded the boy was 14-15 years old at the time of death. The absence of wisdom teeth was the key to determining the age.
“Many were made of gold, while some were made of semi-precious stones, fired clay or faience. Their purpose was to protect the body and give it vitality in the afterlife,” Sahar Saleem was quoted as saying.
He added that the jewellery was ‘beautifully stylised in a unique arrangement of three columns between the folds of the wrappings and inside the mummy’s body cavity'.
The amulets included a golden heart scarab in the throat of the boy and a golden tongue in the mouth. One of them was placed next to the boy's penis, which was found to be uncircumcised. It was in the shape of two fingers.
For obvious reasons, the team dubbed the mummy the 'Golden Boy'.
The mummy was first found in an Egyptian cemetery in Nag el-Hassay. For more than a century, it was stored unexamined in the basement of Cairo’s Egyptian museum, according to a report by The Guardian.