Scan says Louvre Egyptian mummy is girl

17th November 2003, Comments 0 comments

TAIPEI, Nov 16 (AFP) - An X-ray in Taiwan of a 3,000-year-old Egyptian mummy on loan from France's Louvre museum has confirmed that the body is that of a young girl but shed no light on the cause of her death, scientists said Sunday.

TAIPEI, Nov 16 (AFP) - An X-ray in Taiwan of a 3,000-year-old Egyptian mummy on loan from France's Louvre museum has confirmed that the body is that of a young girl but shed no light on the cause of her death, scientists said Sunday.

The prestigious National Taiwan University Hospital carried out the first X-ray and magnetic resonance imaging tests on the mummy Saturday, the hospital said in a statement.

"Judging from the shape of pelvis, the mummy should be a female measuring 96 centimeters (38.4 inches) in length," said doctor Liao Han-wen, head of the hospital's Medical Imaging Department.

A picture on the mummy's coffin had suggested it was a young girl, but the Louvre did not have much information about the body and had not done an X-ray check of the body, according to the hospital.

"As her permanent first molar has not completely erupted, she should be aged below 10," said dentist Chen Ssu-kuang.

However, the cause of death of the little girl, who has been named Hemoutouati, remained a mystery, although doctors did notice curvature of the spine, or scoliosis, in the mummified body.

"It was still not clear if scoliosis was the cause of her death or the damage caused during the process of making the mummy," said Liao, who is also the hospital's ad hoc examination team for the task.

"We need to further analyze the imaging results before we can jump to the final conclusion," he said.

Louvre officials were cited by the organisers as saying that they had faith in Taiwan's technology.

The scientists also examined mummified animals, including a crocodile, two cats, a dog and a bird, on loan from the Louvre.

The mummified bodies are to be exhibited at Taipei's Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall from next Friday.

© AFP


Subject: French news



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