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Scan of Mummified Child Done in Pa.

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May 2

PITTSBURGH - A CT scan of an ancient Egyptian mummy revealed a spearlike object in the upper spine and skull, but scientists say they don't know whether that's what killed the child.

The scan, done Wednesday at a Pittsburgh hospital, also revealed that the child, who lived more than 2,000 years ago, was likely between 3 and 5 years old, younger than previously thought.

The earlier scan also showed that the child had an unusually large head, and researchers still don't know what caused the abnormality.

As for the spear, it's unknown if that was the cause of death or if the embalmers did that to keep the head steady in the sarcophagus.

Scientists say they got good images of bone structure and the child's face and hope to someday have a facial reconstruction on display at the Pittsburgh museum.

The mummy of the child, who lived sometime between 380 B.C. and 250 B.C., dates to the Ptolemaic Dynasty and was acquired by the museum in 1912. It has been on display there museum since 1989.


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