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Mummification unwrapped: investigating an Egyptian votive mummy using novel, non-invasive archaeometric techniques

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posted on 29.03.2022, 03:45 authored by Carla A. Raymond
Due to a history of malpractice in archaeology, minimally and non-destructive investigative techniques are necessary to protect precious artefacts and mummified remains for the future. Using a combination of established and novel techniques, X-ray computed tomography (CT) and neutron CT, allowed for non-destructive study of IA.2402, an unusual Egyptian votive mummy of unknown age and provenance. These imaging methods revealed a partial skeleton of a small, juvenile cat. Use of both techniques allows for dual contrast and complementary study of bones, soft tissue, and textile components. Neutron CT, never before applied to archaeometric studies of mummified remains, provided valuable insight into wrapping techniques used in the mummification process. Pigment analysis was performed for coloured markings on the wrappings, using a scanning electron microscope and Raman spectroscopy, to determine their composition and authenticity. Protein extraction and analysis was attempted, however was inconclusive of species due to the decayed state of remains. Radiocarbon dates were acquired, and provided quantitative results to compare with morphological observations and conclusions based on partiality of the contents. All techniques were employed to better define and profile the specimen, within its historical context, while causing as little physical disruption as possible.


Table of Contents

1. Introduction -- 2. Description of IA1.2402 mummified specimen -- 3. Methods -- 4. Results -- 5. Discussion -- 6. Conclusion -- 7. Reference list -- 8. Appendix.


Bibliography: pages 52-58 Empirical thesis.

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

Department, Centre or School

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Simon M. Clark

Additional Supervisor 1

Joseph Bevitt

Additional Supervisor 2

Yann Tristant


Copyright Carla A. Raymond 2017. Copyright disclaimer: http://mq.edu.au/library/copyright






1 online resource (xii, 67 pages) colour illustrations, 1 colour map

Former Identifiers

mq:70880 http://hdl.handle.net/1959.14/1268641