New test, old body
And starting Monday, visitors will be able to get a glimpse of Pahat, the Berkshire Museum's 2,000-year-old iconic artifact, as it undergoes the conservation process to prepare him for a trip to the hospital.
"It's just to see what's inside him and to learn more about him," said museum spokeswoman Sherrill Ingalls.
Conservator Dena Çirpili of Objects Conservation Services in Buffalo, N.Y., will spend most of next week working on the preparation in a roped-off area visible to the public.
Pahat's CT scan a high-tech X-ray imaging process is scheduled for Monday, June 4. The mummy will take a short trip by medical transport to Berkshire Medical Center's CT unit and then will be returned to the museum.
Dr. Jonathan Elias, director of the Akhmim Mummy Studies Consortium based in Harrisburg, Pa., will lead the procedure a standard in "mummy forensics."
According to museum records, Pahat also received a CT, or "cat scan," in 1984, which revealed that he was probably the victim of grave robbers.
Torn cloth around the neck and severed vertebrae indicate that he suffered a sort of postmortem decapitation. He also was found to have several broken toes.
This suggested to researchers that robbers stole a necklace and golden foot coverings traditionally buried with a deceased priest.
"He's definitely one of our greatest hits," Ingalls said.
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