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2,600-Year-Old Mummy From Brooklyn Museum Gets CT Scan

MANHASSET, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- An ancient mummy from Egypt was brought to North Shore University Hospital Thursday for a CT scan.

The 2,600-year-old mummy named Lady Gauteshenu was brought to the hospital from the Brooklyn Museum. Her hard casing called a "cartonnage," has never been opened.

With the help of modern medical equipment, doctors can examine what is  inside the mummy without disturbing the casing.

1010 WINS' Mona Rivera reports: Doctors perform scan on ancient mummy


Mummy Lady Gauteshenu
Scan of mummy Lady Gauteshenu (credit: Mona Rivera/1010 WINS)

"No one has ever physically touched or seen what's inside the cartonnage," said Dr. Amgad Makaryus, director of cardiac CT and MRI at North Shore. "The CT scan is a non-invasive technique where we can actually see what's inside."

"Of course she was mummified, so she ought to have skin, hair," Dr. Edward Bleiberg, the curator of Egyptian art at Brooklyn Museum, told CBS 2's Jennifer McLogan. "Yes, what you would find on a human body."

The mummy was not a victim of Egyptian grave-robbing. The Brooklyn Museum purchased it in 1933 when it was legal to acquire antiquities. Since then scholars have dreamed of the day they could confirm decades of research.

Egyptologists believe Lady Gauteshenu was probably from Thebes. The scan shows she was a young woman -- at least 16 years of age, reports McLogan -- when she died and that her brain was removed during the mummification process.

And her teeth are in pristine condition.

"There was no refined sugar during that period, so they didn't have all the tooth decay we have today. And when they made bread there was sand that was baked into the bread," North Shore's Dr. Jesse Chusid told McLogan.

Eating sandy bread, doctors said, is like brushing with abrasives.

The hospital has scanned about a half-dozen mummies for the museum including the mummy from 700 BC.

Lady Gauteshenu will be on display with pictures of her CT scan at the Brooklyn Museum.

What do you think Lady Gauteshenu died from?  Share your thoughts...

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