Scanning the Pharaohs

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The results of cutting-edge CT imaging on Ramesses III, Hatshepsut, Tutankhamen, and a host of other New Kingdom mummies are revealed in a gripping new book by Zahi Hawass and Sahar Saleem.

Mummy KV 60 A has been identified as Queen Hatshepsut by the Egyptian Mummy Project thanks to a missing molar in her mouth.


Scanning the Pharaohs: CT Imaging of the New Kingdom Royal Mummies is the latest page-turner from Zahi Hawass, former Egyptian minister of the State for Antiquities, with Sahar N. Saleem, a professor of radiology at Cairo University. The book contains the results of Hawass’ Egyptian Mummy Project, which examined 25 of the most famous New Kingdom (16th-11th century BC) royal mummies stored in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

Elaborating upon a previous study by James E. Harris and Kent R. Weeks in 1973 (X-raying the pharaohs) the new venture, launched in 2005, used the most recent techniques in medical imagery to allow the careful evaluation of the fragile ancient bodies. It has provided minute details on everything from the attempted coup and assassination of pharaoh Ramesses III, to the shocking treatment of Tutankhamen by his finders.

This is an extract from a feature published in CWA 79.  Read on in the magazine or click here to subscribe.

All Images: Zahi Hawass, Sahar Saleem, and the Egyptian Mummy Project

Three-dimensional CT image of the head of Queen Tiye (the mummy of the Elder Lady of KV35). The features and hair are extremely well preserved.


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