Hospital CT Scans Reveal Secrets Of Ancient Mummy Caskets

The secrets of how ancient Egyptian artists decorated mummy caskets have been revealed by hospital CT scans.

The two sarcophagi lids were put through the scanner to show archaeologists how the ornate caskets were created.

Experts wanted to know how ancient artists and craftsmen created the rich colours and detailed engravings on the lids.

The first sarcophagus lid is understood to date back to 950 BC, while the other is believed to date back to between the seventh and fourth centuries BC.

Video footage obtained by Newsflash shows the oldest lid being loaded into the scanner at Shaare Zedek Medical Centre in Jerusalem, Israel on Sunday, 21st May.

It is understood to have been created and decorated nearly 3,000 years ago for Jed-Mot, a ceremonial singer for Amun-Ra, the chief god of ancient Egypt.

Photo shows an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus undergoing a CT scan at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, on May 21, 2023. Israel Museum expert says CT scans offer the best way to examine how coffins, including one almost 3,000 years old, were made and decorated. (Courtesy of Shaare Zedek Medical Center/Newsflash)

The second casket lid belonged to an Egyptian nobleman called Petah-Hotep, according to experts.

Nir Or Lev, the curator of Egyptian Archaeology at the Israel Museum, said: “In order to understand what’s hidden under the artwork, there are two options.

“We can remove the artwork, which we don’t want to do, or we can conduct a CT scan, and through that, see what is happening underneath it.”

The expert added: “We identified cavities in the wood that were filled with plaster as part of the preparation for the decoration of the coffins, as well as various parts that were cast entirely from plaster and not carved directly from the wood.”

And Shlomi Hazan, the chief radiologist at Shaare Zedek, told local media: “Never in my professional life have I been able to do something like this.”