The Tech Used In Egypt’s Largest Archaeological Discovery

In Egypt's largest archaeological discovery this year, X-ray scanning is used to reveal the insides of sarcophagi
The Tech Used In Egypt’s Largest Archaeological Discovery

At least 100 sarcophagi and 40 statues have been discovered in Saqqara, south of Cairo. The find is Egypt’s largest archaeological discovery this year.

The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities made the announcement at a press conference on Monday. On display at the public event were the found items dating back over 2,500 years to the Ptolemaic and Late period.

During the conference, Egyptian archaeologists used X-ray scanning to visualize the insides of the sarcophagi, revealing the mummies preserved within.

X-ray scanning used at Egypt's largest archeological discovery this year
Egyptian archaeologists using X-rays to scan the insides of sarcophagi. Source: Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

Often, ancient items like these are too fragile to be physically disturbed. Therefore, archaeologists use X-ray imaging and similar techniques to get an inside look into these ancient artifacts.

Researchers and archaeologists have used methods like these to study other artifacts from Ancient Egypt. In August, Swansea University used X-ray micro CT scanning to create 3D models of mummified animals.

This method can create 3D images with a resolution 100 times greater than conventional CT scans. As a result, the researchers were able to create accurate representations of a cat, bird and snake over 2,000 years old.

Swansea University’s 3D models of mummified animals. Source: Swansea University

Later in October, Netflix premiered Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb. The documentary follows Egyptian archaeologists as they excavate a 4,400-year-old tomb at the Saqqara necropolis. During the documentary, archaeologists used X-ray scanning to analyze the skeleton of a mummified lion cub.

Despite the substantial archaeological discoveries made in Egypt recently, the Ministry said they would reveal yet another discovery at Saqqara later this year.

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