From The Beaney Museum
Canterbury Museums and Galleries
An account of the CT and micro CT scan of the ancient Egyptian cat mummy from The Beaney Museum, Canterbury.
James Elliott - July 2022
What is the project?
This project concerns the ancient Egyptian mummified cat from The Beaney Museum in Canterbury. The cat is available to view on the first floor of the museum.
At the request of Craig Bowen, museum manager, the cat accompanied the mummified head for a CT scan at Maidstone Nuclear Medicine Department in November 2021. Dana Goodburn-Brown kindly brought the cat and assisted with the scanning, along with the expertise of Tristan Barnden and Joanna Sillars from Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust.
As with the head, little is known about the cat and records are limited. However, it is well preserved and the CT scan provided a non-invasive method of inspecting the internal contents. As luck would have it, Dana also sought the assistance of Kent University who had recently installed a micro-CT scanner. Professor Matthew Skinner kindly donated his time and access to the micro CT scanner.
What do we know so far?
Very little! The data from both scans are yet to be analysed but it is hoped to learn about the mummification method and perhaps the age of the cat at death. The CT data from Maidstone Hospital provided a resolution of 0.625mm whereas the micro CT obtained images at 0.05mm! Suffice to say, the quality between the two is noticable.
Video shows axial micro CT data (left) and a 3D reconstruction using CT data from Maidstone Hospital, Kent (right).