09/04/2014 07:02 BST | Updated 09/04/2014 07:59 BST

Brain-Scooping Spatula Found In Egyptian Mummy's Skull After 2,600 Years

An Ancient Egyptian Mummy has been revealed to have had a spatula used for scooping out brains lodged in its skull for 2,600 years.

Researchers at the British Museum made the discovery when the mummy was one of eight examined with CT scanners that produce 3D images of them.

The image of the mummified body clearly shows the spatula in his head and a series of dental abscesses which would have caused the man, believed to have been mummified in Thebes in around 600 BC, painful toothache.

mummy ct scan

The mummy was put into a CT scanner to produce 3D images that revealed the spatula in its skull

The software that produced the scans was originally designed to make cars.

The discovery is the latest in a long line of technological developments that have enhanced experts' knowledge of the mummification process.

The museum started x-raying its mummies in the 1960s and used CT scanners for the first time in the 1990s.


The museum's director Neil MacGregor said: "This new technology is truly ground-breaking, allowing us to reconstruct and understand the lives of these eight, very different, individuals.

"This is a project which has only been made possible through recent technological advances and I am delighted that the museum is at the forefront of this kind of research and presentation."

The mummy is part of a new exhibition at the London museum, which runs from May 22 to November 30 and also features the remains of a female singer called Tamut who lived in the same area in around 900 BC.

Her body was buried with jewellery befitting her high status and the scan also showed she suffered from blocked arteries which may have contributed to her death.