Looking Inside Mummies’ Heads – Technology Produces Amazing Images In St. Louis


Photos from St. Louis Public Radio

Just in time for Halloween….


Imagine that, the female mummy actually has a brain.  And what is so remarkable about it, aside from the headdress that seems to be most uncommon in mummies, is that famously in the mummification process the brain was usually removed.  And a woman got to keep hers.  Hmm….


All jokes aside, the mummy exhibit at the Saint Louis Art Museum is one of the most popular rooms in the building – and that’s saying something since it’s in a corner of the labyrinth known as the first floor and is part of a collection with some remarkable and quite famous art.  The X-rays from the first imaging project were used in the old exhibit to demonstrate what was inside one of the mummies.  Now we have 3-D images which in and of themselves are quite fascinating.

Details we did not know before this weekend’s CT scans:

[Washington University radiologist Dr. Michelle] Miller-Thomas says one mummy wore a ceremonial headdress complete with beads.


“That same mummy was also very usual because she still had her brain in tact,” she says. “For the mummification process … traditionally … brains were removed from the mummies.”

Miller-Thomas says the mummy was younger than the other two and may have died from a severe head injury.

Another mummy, a man, was much shorter than the others, which Miller says was because of some severe spine fractures she believes may have come after death by ancient grave robbers.





About the Author

Cultural Limits
A resident of Flyover Country, Cultural Limits is a rare creature in American Conservatism - committed to not just small government, Christianity and traditional social roles, but non-profits and high arts and culture. Watching politics, observing human behavior and writing are all long-time interests. In her other life, CL writes romance novels under her nom de plume, Patricia Holden (@PatriciaHoldenAuthor on Facebook), and crochets like a mad woman (designs can be found on Facebook @BohemianFlairCrochet and on Pinterest on the Bohemian Flair Crochet board). In religion, CL is Catholic; in work, the jill of all trades when it comes to fundraising software manipulation and event planning; in play, a classically trained soprano and proud citizen of Cardinal Nation, although, during hockey season, Bleeds Blue. She lives in the Mid-Mississippi River Valley with family and two cute and charming tyrants...make that toy dogs.