A HOSPITAL has helped reveal the secrets of mummified children from Egypt using state-of-the-art technology.

A team of scientists, led by forensic Egyptologist Janet Davey, scanned three 2,000-year-old Egyptian child mummies at Blackheath Hospital, in Lee Terrace, Blackheath, on Tuesday (March 24).

The three mummies, one of which has an elaborate gold death mask, were part of a collection of 12 housed in The British Museum.

By using the hospital’s CT scanner, the scientists were able to create a 3D picture of the mummies’ skeletons and anatomy without disturbing their delicate wrappings.

Miss Davey, based at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, says the scans will help solve the mysteries surrounding the life and death of children in ancient Egypt.

She said: “Early results show all three mummies were boys, two of which have severe head injuries.

“It’s very unusual for mummies to have holes in their heads.

News Shopper: By using the hospital’s CT scanner, the scientists were able to create a 3-D picture of the mummies

“We don’t know if that has anything to do with mummification and we don’t know if these injuries were sustained before or after death.

“Answering these questions may help explain the premature death of Egyptian children and the scans have given us a huge amount of information about mummification procedures.”

The data from the scans will now be studied by the team in more depth.

Miss Davey says they chose to use Blackheath Hospital for the tests because of its hi-tech facilities and friendly staff.

Peter Harris, executive director of Blackheath Hospital, said: “We’re delighted to donate the use of our scanner for this project.

“It’s one of the most modern CT scanners available, and it has proved invaluable in helping us provide our patients with more accurate and speedy diagnoses.

“It’s very exciting to think that the technology can also be used to help unlock the mysteries of ancient Egypt.”

There are currently no plans to put the mummies on public display.