A paleopathological study of a number of Egyptian mummies started at the beginning of the last century with the pioneering work of Sir Marc Armand Ruffer. The application of radiological examination to mummy studies has a long tradition, and dates back to the year 1898 when Sir William Flinders Petrie used X-rays for the first time. Paleopathology and radiology both provide a quantity of data about the health status of past populations, in addition to the body conservation techniques adopted. Many mummified human remains from ancient Egypt are stored in Italian Museums. The University of Pisa carried out a project, named “Anubis”, whose aim it was to catalogue and examine these findings from a paleopathological and radiological point of view. Thirty-three complete mummies and thirteen body parts were surveyed and then submitted to complete radiological examination. In two cases it was possible to perform Computerized Tomography, two other mummies were investigated through endoscopy and in one case histology was also carried out. Sex and age at death were determined for each specimen; embalming techniques, pathological conditions and post-mortem events were observed. X-rays also provide interesting egyptological data and paleopathological information. Although it is not possible to elaborate a statistical analysis because of the scarce number of specimens coming from different parts of Egypt and different periods, evidence of joint and dental diseases and a number of other pathologies, such as fractures, osteoporosis and cysticercosis, were observed. Following the example of studies performed on collections of Egyptian mummies in other countries, this work tries to reduce many gaps in the knowledge of Egyptian human mummified material preserved in Italy.

Paleopathological evaluation and radiological study of 46 Egyptian mummified specimens in Italian museums

GIUFFRA, VALENTINA;CARAMELLA, DAVIDE;SILVANO, FLORA;FORNACIARI, GINO;CIRANNI, ROSALBA
2009

Abstract

A paleopathological study of a number of Egyptian mummies started at the beginning of the last century with the pioneering work of Sir Marc Armand Ruffer. The application of radiological examination to mummy studies has a long tradition, and dates back to the year 1898 when Sir William Flinders Petrie used X-rays for the first time. Paleopathology and radiology both provide a quantity of data about the health status of past populations, in addition to the body conservation techniques adopted. Many mummified human remains from ancient Egypt are stored in Italian Museums. The University of Pisa carried out a project, named “Anubis”, whose aim it was to catalogue and examine these findings from a paleopathological and radiological point of view. Thirty-three complete mummies and thirteen body parts were surveyed and then submitted to complete radiological examination. In two cases it was possible to perform Computerized Tomography, two other mummies were investigated through endoscopy and in one case histology was also carried out. Sex and age at death were determined for each specimen; embalming techniques, pathological conditions and post-mortem events were observed. X-rays also provide interesting egyptological data and paleopathological information. Although it is not possible to elaborate a statistical analysis because of the scarce number of specimens coming from different parts of Egypt and different periods, evidence of joint and dental diseases and a number of other pathologies, such as fractures, osteoporosis and cysticercosis, were observed. Following the example of studies performed on collections of Egyptian mummies in other countries, this work tries to reduce many gaps in the knowledge of Egyptian human mummified material preserved in Italy.
Giuffra, Valentina; Pangoli, D; Cosmacini, P; Caramella, Davide; Silvano, Flora; Fornaciari, Gino; Ciranni, Rosalba
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/196437
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