The Egyptian mummy of Chonsu-maa-cheru can be dated to the time of the pharaoh Osorkon I (ca. 925-890 BC). In 1903, it came to the Museum of Ethnology in Hamburg, today’s Museum at the Rothenbaum – Cultures and Arts of the World (MARKK).
Fortunately, the mummy was not unwrapped, as it was often the case at that time. Instead, it became one of the first mummies to be examined with X-rays, which had been discovered only a few years earlier. Already then, a scarab was discovered on the chest of the deceased.
In 1996, cross-sectional images of the entire mummy were created using computer tomography (CT). The winged scarab is clearly visible as a bright object between linen wrapping (above) and ribs (below).
The views of the winged scarab shown here were reconstructed from a sequence of CT images. The body is made of stone (possibly lapis lazuli), the wings of thin sheet metal. Since we have no information about their natural colors, the colors used for the renderings were selected according to artistic aspects.
The scarab still rests inside the mummy of Chonsu-maa-cheru, as it has for 2900 years.
- Renate Germer, Karl Heinz Höhne, Christoph Koch: Neue Einblicke in eine Mumie – die Röntgenuntersuchung der Mumie des Chonsu-maa-cheru [New insights into a mummy – the X-ray examination of the mummy of Chonsu-maa-cheru]. In Wulf Köpke, Bernd Schmelz (eds.): Alt-Ägypten, Mitteilungen aus dem Museum für Völkerkunde Hamburg, Neue Folge Band 30, Holos Verlag, Bonn, 2000, 172-181.
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