Friday, May 23, 2008

Artist renders glass mummy

"The ghost of an Ancient Egyptian toddler now haunts a London gallery, after scans of his mummy were fashioned into a work of art.

"Mummy boy 3" exhibition
"Mummy Boy 3" is on display at Waterhouse & Dodd in the West End of London until June 12.

Artist Angela Palmer has already turned Carol Vorderman's brain, and even her own, into eerie artistic representations, formed from layers of glass that have been engraved with contours based on scans of their brains.

Now she has used the same method to bring the remains of the toddler into view and shed new light on a family tragedy that took place almost two thousand years ago in Egypt.

Her reconstruction of "Mummy Boy 3" is now on display at Waterhouse & Dodd in the West End of London, until June 12.

As a bonus, the effort has revealed to archaeologists new details of the mummy. The remains were of an 18 month old and it was a boy, as shown by his mummified penis.

Unusually, he lacked his baby side teeth. His brain had also been removed, in common with standard funerary practices of the day.

A CT X ray scan of the toodler's mummified body
A CT scan of the toddler's mummified body

The scans show that the elaborate bandages that wrap the remains, forming an elaborate lozenge pattern, are typical of the approach used in AD 80-120.

The presence of gold studs of gilded plaster, bound near his lap, suggest that the little boy was the son of a noble or an official."