PALO ALTO, CA and EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND--(Marketwire -02/23/12)- Two thousand years ago, using state-of-the-art mummification techniques, a mummy was entombed in the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes. Now, using state-of-the-art High Definition Volume Rendering® software from California-based Fovia, Inc. to virtually unwrap the artifact, National Museums Scotland together with a team of radiologists and a forensic pathologist from Edinburgh University has learned a great deal about this wrapped female mummy, who died when she was in her mid-to-late twenties.
The mummy, known as the Rhind Mummy, was discovered by Alexander H. Rhind, a 24-year-old Scottish Egyptologist who brought her back to Scotland in 1857. Rhind, a brilliant scholar known for his systematic work, left the contents untouched, which was unusual during the time of "Mummy Mania" when mummy unwrappings were common. He was critical of so-called "archaeologists" whom he claimed indulged in little more than looting by unwrapping mummies, as it destroyed the carefully preserved relics. Given his non-destructive philosophy, it's likely that Rhind would have appreciated how scientists today, using high resolution CT scans and Fovia's HDVR® Connect software, have gained new forensic insights into the ancient practice of mummification through the lens of the world's most advanced imaging technology.
"Having the chance to view the Rhind Mummy in three dimensions is amazing in its own right, but having the chance to view her with Fovia's software brings a new level of clarity and depth to the viewing experience, allowing for more accurate analysis and interpretation," said Dr. Jim Tate, head of conservation and analytical research at National Museums Scotland. Fovia creates an unbelievable view of the mummy, with intricate details down to the concealed ornamentation that has lain unseen for more than two millennia. In fact, HDVR Connect helps reveal that some of the surface amulets have hidden -- and perhaps more valuable -- "twins" below the wrappings.
The team discovered astonishing details about the mummy without ever having to unwrap the delicate bandages that preserved the body and hid many amulets. They found a metal disc on her stomach, an amulet on her skull, and a scroll being clutched in her right hand -- likely to be a funerary text that combines directions for mummification with guidance for the afterlife, and probably contains the mummy's lineage and name.
Rhind wrote that the mummy was "a handsome specimen of the style of ornamenting externally, by means of inlaid or impressed emblems of gold and coloured vitreous composition." Now, with Fovia's HDVR Connect software, scientists have learned how the body was prepared for eternity, including the locations and textures of the internal amulets as well as those that had been placed on her body during the intricate wrapping process. Fovia's fly-through movie virtually unwraps the mummy, providing a breathtakingly detailed and lifelike view of her in 3D without being disruptive to the original embalming.
Fascinating Mummies opened February 11, 2012 at the National Museum of Scotland, and features Fovia's 3D fly-through movie of the Rhind Mummy next to the actual mummy. The exhibition examines death and afterlife in ancient Egypt and includes a spectacular array of Egyptian items from National Museums Scotland and Rijkesmuseum van Oudheden in Leiden, the Netherlands. To see images and the movie, visit www.fovia.com.
About Fovia, Inc.
Fovia has developed High Definition Volume Rendering®, a CPU-based, advanced visualization technology platform that delivers unparalleled quality, performance, scalability and flexibility. Fovia's innovative HDVR® solution successfully overcomes the inherent limitations of other currently available imaging technologies, thereby enabling local, enterprise-wide and web-based volumetric rendering with affordable, off-the-shelf computers.
Fovia's flagship product, HDVR® Connect, is a software-only, advanced visualization solution that includes all of the key attributes required by today's vendors and their customers: performance, quality, scalability, anytime/anywhere image access, cost-effectiveness and flexibility. With HDVR Connect, OEM vendors can deliver unrivaled image quality and uncompromised performance, both locally and remotely, in 2D, 3D and 4D advanced volume visualization applications.
For additional information and to learn more about commercial, academic or research licensing, visit www.fovia.com.
P: 866.3D.FOVIA or 415.290.1717
About National Museums Scotland
National Museums Scotland is the largest multi-disciplinary museum group in Scotland, with four million items in its collections and the largest body of curatorial and conservation expertise in the country. Today, the group includes:
- National Museum of Scotland (formerly the Royal Museum and the Museum of Scotland)
- National Museum of Flight
- National War Museum
- National Museum of Rural Life
- National Museum of Costume.