06:19 GMT +324 October 2018
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    Message in a Mummy: New Scanner Reveals Ancient Egyptian Scripts

    CC BY-SA 2.0 / Franklin Heijnen / Egyptian mummy
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    Researchers in London have developed a new scanning technique which enables them to examine the inscriptions left on the papyruses used to wrap up mummies, without destroying their several thousand-year-old cases.

    A new scanning technique is able to decipher messages written on the papyrus which was used by ancient Egyptians to wrap up mummies.

    Researchers at University College London (UCL) scanned 2,000 year old papyrus scraps to find out what was written on them. The writing is obscured by the paste and plaster used to create the mummy case, but the researchers managed to examine the writing underneath by scanning them with a type of light that made the ink visible.

    "Because the waste papyrus was used to make prestige objects, they have been preserved for 2,000 years," UCL Professor Adam Gibson told the BBC.

    Egyptian Pyramids
    Egyptian Pyramids
    Using the technique, the team scanned a mummy case kept at a museum at Chiddingstone Castle in Kent and managed to find hitherto undiscovered writing on the footplate. One of the words written on the footplate was "Irethorru," a common given name in Egypt at that time.

    In December, it was reported that scientists at the University of Chicago are using a high intensity synchrotron X-ray to carry out a 3D analysis of ancient Egyptian mummies, without unwrapping their linen bindings.

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    ancient Egypt, writing, case, mummy, Egypt
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