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Egyptian Mummy Brings 3D Scanning Together with Computed Tomography

Who knew that an Egyptian mummy nearly 2,000 years old could help bring together two separate worlds of technology?

Currently residing at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose, California, the Sherit (ancient Egyptian for “little one”) mummy is a mummified Egyptian child who died two millennia ago.  And recently the previously separated worlds of 3D scanning and computed tomography came together to bring forth a unique collated model of the Sherit mummy.

How did they do it?  Well, first the info about the geometry and texture, or color, of the mummy, was collected with the Artec Eva 3D scanner and was then laid over a computed tomography scan, made with an AXIOM Siemens CT scanner. The result is a digital copy of the mummy, which shows how it looks on the outside and inside.  Pretty cool.

While delivering all-encompassing detail about the inner structure of the body, a CT scanner cannot render colors, falling short of producing a fully realistic representation of the object. Now, thanks to a new feature in Volume Graphics Version 3.1 software, the two datasets can be merged with a click of a button.  And the Sherit mummy project is one of the first applications of this new feature.

Sherit underwent CT scanning in 2005, which allowed researchers to determine her approximate age and state of health. The girl was between four and a half and six years old when she died. Her body was wrapped in fine linen and covered with round earrings, an amulet, and a Roman period necklace, suggesting she came from a wealthy family. The physicians involved in the research believe she probably died from dysentery or meningitis.

The CT scan of Sherit was merged with a high-precision 3D scan, taken with Artec Eva handheld 3D scanner, which gave a vivid full-color 3D image of the outer surface of the mummy.

“We chose the Artec scanner because it’s one of the best ways to enhance the detail of a CT scan with a colored surface mesh which we could then import in the latest version of our VGSTUDIO MAX software,” says Christof Reinhart, CEO of Volume Graphics. “The easy-to-use Artec scanner combines compactness with high-quality surface capturing. The handling of the device is super convenient because of its relatively small size and high capturing speed. At the same time, it enables us to capture the surface of the object in 3D with high precision and, most importantly, in color – the one dimension still missing in CT. We’re extremely satisfied with the results. The quality exceeded our expectations.”

Click here to read more about how Artec’s 3D scanners and software allowed for quick scanning and ground-breaking results in creating a 3D model of the Sherit mummy.

Want to learn more about Artec 3D Scanners and their amazing technology?  Click here and an expert from The SolidExperts will be happy to help you.

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