CT-guided endoscopic recovery of a foreign object from the cranial cavity of an ancient Egyptian mummy

Mislav Čavka*, Anja Petaros, Drago Boščić, Lovro Kavur, Ivor Janković, Radovan Despot, Jelena Trajković, Boris Brkljačić

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to test the value of computed tomography (CT)-guided endoscopy in the scientific study of mummified remains and the recovery of unidentified objects from ancient mummified remains. CT-guided endoscopy was performed on an Egyptian mummy from the Late Period to help retrieve an unidentified object from its skull. The combined use of CT and endoscopy facilitated the recovery of the object, minimizing further damage to the remains and to the object itself. The successful recovery of the brittle object allowed detailed analysis of the item to be performed in an attempt to determine the nature of its presence in the cranial cavity. It was confirmed that the object was a monocotyledon stem fragment. Relying on the existing literature on mummification and excerebration methods in ancient Egypt, we concluded that the stick was probably used for transnasal removal of the brain. The results of this study demonstrate the great potential of CT-guided endoscopy for minimally invasive recovery of small unidentified items from mummies that could yield important information about mummification procedures and the materials used to preserve bodies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2151-2157
Number of pages7
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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