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Museum Visitors can do Virtual Autopsy of a Mummy

The Gebelein man is the mummy of a man buried more than 5000 years ago at the site of Gebelein in Upper Egypt. The visitors at the British Museum not just witness this mummy but also solve the reason of his death by conducting research. This has been made possible with the use of technology. A large touch-table display uses combination of visualization techniques and intuitive user interfaces to create a memorable and informative experience for the visitors of the museum.

The museum curators in association with scientists and medical experts performed detailed CT X-ray scans of the mummy. Intricate images created using these scans further helped in creating 3D virtual images of the mummy. This technology enabled visitors to view the different layers of the mummy—the muscles, the organs and the skeleton. Using the multi-touch display of the table, visitors can turn the mummy around in any direction to explore it.

Using this innovative technology, the museum has turned the passive visitors to active researchers. The information that researchers use is made available in this touch table to help visitors examine. As visitors investigate the different aspects of the mummy, they are able to identify a wound in the left shoulder that has also shattered his shoulder blade and punctured his lung. The visitors, using this virtual autopsy, are able to figure out that a stab possibly from a metal dagger is what killed the Gebelein man.

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