The Egyptian mummy of the Archaeological Civic Museum of Bergamo was subjected to a CT scan, computed tomography at the Milan Polyclinic, on Monday 21.06. On the day of the summer equinox, the mummy began to reveal her first secrets. The first observations seem to suggest that it is a man, as referred to by the name Akhetkhonsu, whose meaning is “the god Khonsu is alive”, written several times on the sarcophagus that dates back to the 22nd Dynasty (900-800 BC) with which the mummy arrived in Bergamo in 1885. It certainly belongs to the upper class of society, since mummification was an expensive process and not accessible to everyone. The analysis of the CT scan will allow to draw up a complete profile of the individual, his age, his height, and any injuries suffered.
It is speculated that the mummy was disturbed to steal jewels and amulets in ancient times. The 3D images returned by the Tac are of great impact, because they allow you to view everything that is hidden inside the bandages. But is it really the priest as written on the sarcophagus? This will be established with the chemical and physical analyzes that will be carried out together with in-depth anthropological analyzes.
“We took the first step of the project“ A mummy to be saved – explains Sabina Malgora, Director of the Mummy Project – which provides for an accurate study to tell the life and death of the mummified individual and the restoration in view of the exhibition ”.
THE TEAM WHO CARRIED OUT THE CT scan
It is made up of the Mummy Project team, including Chantal Milani, anthropologist and forensic odontologist, former officer of the RIS in Rome, Francesca Motta, osteoarchaeologist and the Radiology team of the Polyclinic of Milan directed by Prof. Gianpaolo Carrafiello. All with the collaboration of Prof. Luca Bernardo, Director of the Pediatric Home of the Fatebenefratelli. The samples for chemical and physical analyzes are carried out in collaboration with Prof. Luigi Bonizzi, Prof. Alessio Soggiu, Department of Biomedical, Surgical and Dental Sciences, University of Milan, and with Dr. Marco Nicola, Ph.D. Department of Chemistry, University of Turin, and director of Adamantio srl, Science in Conservation.
THE PROJECT “A MUMMY TO SAVE”
It concerns the study and restoration of the mummy contained in the Akhetkhonsu sarcophagus, with radiological analyzes, CT scans, which allow for 3D images, chemical and physical analyzes. The investigations are aimed at recovering data to reconstruct its history and identity, but also information on mummification techniques and ancient diseases (paleopathology), very useful for modern medical research.
The forensic reconstruction of the face is also foreseen, which will restore its appearance to the mummy allowing everyone, scholars and enthusiasts, to see its physiognomy. After the analyzes, the restoration will be carried out in the autumn, to guarantee the mummy its eternity and to be able to exhibit it in the new Archaeological Museum of Bergamo.
The project is supported by the Bergamasca Community Foundation, by GP Batteries International, leader in the production of traditional, rechargeable batteries and power banks (www.gpbatteries.com) and BPS srl, Consulting and Services for the Environment (www.bpssrl.it), the Regazzi Funeral Agency of Calusco D’Adda (BG) which took care of the transport, by the Rotary Club of Bergamo which will support the restoration. Much remains to be done and all future partnerships are welcome.
IL MUMMY PROJECT
(www.mummyproject.it) Research Center and project development, is aimed at the study of organic finds, in particular human and animal mummies, through analyzes carried out with the most modern medical and investigative investigation techniques, performed by a multidisciplinary team, able to retrieve all available information and compare them in the reference scientific panorama, respecting the integrity and conservation of the finds. It gives back an identity to the mummies, completing the historical and cultural picture from which they come. It collaborates with universities, museums, foundations and cultural institutions. It also organizes exhibitions, cultural events.