All the fun of opening up a mummy, without the fear of unleashing a plague.
- Three long dead Egyptians recently had their CT images taken.
- The scans revealed what was, and was not, done during their mummification.
- The finds shed more light on how the Egyptians were inspired by the Greeks and Romans.
They look pretty good for being 2000.<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDc3OTczOS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxMDM0OTA3OH0.-D0YZ-3earUCZ7IWMOR5B2ZAX2fUyyRvzEokjROgJM8/img.png?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C55%2C0%2C55&height=700" id="b55b2" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e52682068e52705d2252c8ca1be19c18" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
The decorated images showing who the mummies used to be.
Credit: Zesch et al., PLOS One, 2020<p> The three mummies scanned are the only known examples of "stucco-shrouded portrait mummies." As opposed to being buried in a coffin, these three were placed on wooden boards then wrapped in a textile and a shroud. They were then decorated with plaster, gold, and a whole-body portrait revealing what they looked like, how they styled their hair, and what they wore in life. All three were once buried in Saqqara, the great Necropolis just south of <a href="https://www.livescience.com/painted-ancient-egyptian-mummies-ct-scan.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Giza</a>. <br> <br> They date back to the Late Roman Period in Egypt, and all three of them have had very exciting afterlives filled with stories about their discoveries and shifting ownership. Now, thanks to modern technology, we can learn about their lives. <br> <br> The CT scan shows that the man was between 25 and 30 years of age when he died and that he had several cavities and unerupted teeth. He was only 164 cm tall (around 5'4"). Several of his bones are broken, though this is believed to be the result of careless handling by whoever discovered the remains.</p><p>Most curiously, there is no evidence that his brain was removed during the mummification process, as was standard in other cases. It also seems that few embalming chemicals were used to preserve him. This suggests that he was just wrapped, painted, and buried and that dehydration is what kept his corpse so well preserved. <br> <br> The woman was between 30 and 40 years old and stood at 151 cm (4'9"). She shows signs of arthritis in her knees. Like many other Egyptians, she was buried in fine jewelry. Several necklaces appeared on the scan, suggesting she was well off. For reasons unknown, nails were also found in her abdomen. Like her male counterpart, her brain was not removed during mummification, <a href="https://www.sciencealert.com/archaeologists-finally-peer-inside-egyptian-mummies-first-found-in-1615" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">either</a>. <br> <br> The last mummy was that of a girl in her late teens. She showed signs of having a benign tumor on her back, and all of her internal organs were still intact. Her coffin contains hairpins, suggesting that she wore her hair up as depicted in her portrait. </p>
How does this change our understanding of Egyptian life and death?<iframe width="730" height="430" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bHV0My7KibM" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe><p> Finding hairpins with the remains is noteworthy, as only a few other such examples exist. It provides further evidence that ancient Egyptians wore their hair up. </p><p>Other mummies have been buried with coins, but in Egypt, the practice does not seem to go back to before Alexander the Great conquered the <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0240900" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">area</a>. This suggests that the deceased had adopted elements of the Greeks' religion and brought along coins to pay Charon. </p><p>The find also sheds more light on how the Egyptians lived and died under Greek and later Roman rule and how their conquerors' beliefs and art styles influenced their religion. <br> <br> </p>
Psychologists discover that the way the brain perceives beauty differs between art or faces.
- A new study shows that different parts of the brain are engaged when we look at beautiful faces or beautiful art.
- Reward pathways are triggered by looking at beauty in faces.
- Another part of the brain is involved in judging beauty in art, indicating existence of two "beauty centers."
Beauty and sex: Evolution isn’t as practical as you think | Richard Prum | Big Think<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c01cabce7b0b2b48a3734896c4a396db"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/SK7oHmJdDOM?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
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