Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering


Research into ancient Egyptian mummies led by Prof. Adam Gibson makes BBC news

8 January 2018

Ancient Egyptian mummy

A research project led by Prof. Adam Gibson recently caught the attention of BBC News. 

Prof. Gibson and Prof. Melissa Terras worked with Cerys Jones (UCL Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering) and Dr. Kathryn Piquette (UCL Centre for Digital Humanities) to apply multispectral imaging to the papyrus wrapping which covered ancient Egyptian mummies, and to writing on the wooden coffin of a mummy held at Chiddingstone Castle in Kent.

The papyrus covering, known as cartonnage, is of interest to historians because it constitutes the ancient Egyptian equivalent of scrap paper and features the everyday records of ancient Egyptian people. As such, it gives Egyptologists a rare insight into daily life in the ancient civilization.

Until now, reading these scraps of papyrus resulted in their destruction. Prof. Gibson and his colleagues hope that their new imaging method will allow historians to read the texts without causing damage.

Their work was partly funded by Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, R B Toth Associates, and the SEAHA Centre for Doctoral Training.

You can read the BBC news article here.