Saturday, May 23, 2015

Terahertz Imaging Modalities of Ancient Egyptian Mummified Objects and of a Naturally Mummified Rat

The Anatomical Record

The Anatomical Record

Volume 298,  Issue 6pages 1135–1143June 2015

  1. Lena Öhrström1
  2. Bernd M. Fischer2,3
  3. Andreas Bitzer4,5
  4. Jan Wallauer4,5
  5. Markus Walther4,5 and
  6. Frank Rühli1,*
Article first published online: 22 MAY 2015
DOI: 10.1002/ar.23143
Issue The Anatomical Record The Anatomical Record Volume 298, Issue 6, pages 1135–1143, June 2015

During the last few years, terahertz (THz) imaging has been used to investigate artwork and historic artifacts. The application of THz imaging to mummy investigations is very attractive since it provides spectroscopic information over a broad frequency range and its radiation has proven to be harmless to human cells. However, compared with the current standard imaging methods in mummy imaging—X-ray and computed tomography (CT)—it remains a novel, emerging technique whose potential still needs to be fully evaluated. Here, ancient Egyptian mummified objects as well as a naturally mummified rat have been investigated by two different THz imaging systems: a broadband THz time domain imaging system and an electronic THz scanner. The obtained THz images are compared with conventional CT, X-ray, and magnetic resonance images. While the broadband THz time domain setup permits analyses of smaller samples, the electronic THz scanner allows the recording of data of thicker and larger samples at the expense of a limited spectral bandwidth. Terahertz imaging shows clear potential for mummy investigations, although currently CT imaging offers much higher spatial resolution. Furthermore, as commercial mobile THz scanners become available, THz imaging could be applied directly in museums or at excavation sites. Anat Rec, 298:1135–1143, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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