Virtual autopsy

Museum>> history • the uk

 
Published: Monday 30 November -0001

British Museum

A 23,000-year-old mummy will feel the touch of modern technology, literally. Using Swedish technology, visitors to London’s British Museum will be able use an interactive touch screen to examine the body of Gebelein Man, one of the museum’s oldest mummies. Man was buried in around 3,500 BC in Egypt and was discovered in 1896.

Evidence suggests he was stabbed in the back, said curator of physical anthropology Daniel Antoine. “There’s a wound on the surface of his skin which people have been seeing for the last 100 years, but after looking inside his body we found that his shoulder blade and the rib under the shoulder blade are damaged,” he said.

The digital autopsy table has come courtesy of the Interactive Institute and Visualization Center based in Norrkoping, Sweden. Visitors will be able to view it till December 16. The technology has made it possible to expose his skeleton and make virtual slices in order to explore his internal organs and the brain, which is still present.

The museum’s spokesperson David Hughes said, “The system has enabled not just remarkable new revelations about one of the British Museum’s most iconic mummies, but also brings the thrill of discovery straight to the gallery for the public.”

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