Video: Mummies undergo CAT scans

updated 6/23/2009 10:36:21 PM ET 2009-06-24T02:36:21

The mummy may actually have been a daddy.

North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y., examined four ancient Egyptian mummies belonging to the Brooklyn Museum on Tuesday. It turns out one of the four thought for centuries to be a woman is actually a man.

A CT scan revealed that one of the mummies, named “Lady Hor,” was a male.

Researchers conducted the scans with hopes of gaining further knowledge about their identities, cause of death, and ancient funerary practices.

Hospital spokeswoman Michelle Pinto says the testing enables radiologists to learn about the bones and skeletal system of the mummies in extraordinary detail, without having to do invasive or damaging procedures.

The mummies range in age from more than 3,000 years old to about 1,700 years old.

"Lady Hor" dates back to between 712 B.C. and 660 B.C., Newsday reported. Egyptologists had assumed that the mummy was female because its covering, or cartonnage, took the shape of a woman, without a symbolic beard attached. But the CT scan revealed "the pelvic organs of a male," Dr. Jesse Chusid told the newspaper.

Another mystery turned up when researchers looked at the oldest of the four mummies, a royal prince named Pasebakhaienipet. Chusid told Newsday that the scan showed a tubelike object in the mummy's throat, which he said was a "surprising finding."

This report was supplemented by msnbc.com.

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