New Mummy X-Rays Let You Peer Right Inside Ancient Egyptian Bodies

A new set of visualization of x-ray data allow scientists—and the public—to undress ancient Egyptian mummies, peel back their skins and see (virtually) inside. The results looks as terrifying as you might expect.

The new images, created for the British Museum, use high-definition CT scans to show us what lurks within the bodies of eight mummies from Egypt and Sudan. The image above shows a scan of a mummified girl, probably about seven years old, with thick hair and a well-preserved face. The shoulder-length hair apparently suggests she was likely a candidate for marriage.

In the video below, also made from the new visualizations, Tamut, a priest's daughter who lived and died in ancient Egypt in about 900 BC, is shown to have a deep abscess in her jaw as well as arteries full of fatty plaque. In other words, she wasn't too healthy—but the amulets on her body do suggest that she held a high status.

These images form part of a new exhibit at the British Museum in London, called
Ancient Lives, New Discoveries, which is open until November 2014. But you can also explore a lot of the resources online too. [British Museum via New Scientist]