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Terahertz imaging modalities of ancient egyptian mummified objects and of a naturally mummified rat


Öhrström, Lena; Fischer, Bernd M; Bitzer, Andreas; Wallauer, Jan; Walther, Markus; Rühli, Frank J (2015). Terahertz imaging modalities of ancient egyptian mummified objects and of a naturally mummified rat. Anatomical Record, 298(6):1135-1143.

Abstract

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.

Abstract

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.

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3 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Evolutionary Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:28 May 2015 07:21
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:16
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:1932-8486
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/ar.23143
PubMed ID:25998647

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