Mummy mystery solved with CT scan

Mummy mystery solved with CT scan

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by KGW Staff

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kgw.com

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Updated Thursday, Apr 12 at 7:31 PM

CORVALLIS -- A mummy that belongs to a Wilsonville woman was scanned at a Corvallis veterinary hospital Thursday, in an effort to learn more about its history.

Hilary Lester said she inherited the mummy from her father. He got he artifact in the late 1970s and told her it was from P.T. Barnum and was part of a circus sideshow.

Some had speculated that the mummy may be made of sheep and dog bones. A CT scan conducted Thursday at the Oregon State University Veterinary Medical School solved the mystery. Turns out, the mummy was made of mostly wood and fabric.

Raw video: Watch mummy CT scan

"We found a wood tooth so they believe she's got a wood tooth, but the rest of her is like 4-by-4s, and stuffing and nails. It's a piece of art, is what it is," explained Lester.

Experts said that the mummy is still valuable though, as a circus prop that's likely over 100 years old.

Scientists with National Geographic's former 'Mummy Road Show' set up the scan after learning about Lester's mummy.  The scientists said further study of the nails in the fake mummy can help them determine when it was made.

Lester said she believes there are other "faux mummies" out there and hopes to one day have a mummy family reunion.

"I was pretty sure that she was not real. But we can solidly say... it 's not real," Lester commented, with a grin after Thursday's CT scan.

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