Media Advisory: Mummies receive CT scans at Washington University

Three Egyptian mummies journeyed Sunday from their home at the Saint Louis Art Museum to the campus of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Barnes-Jewish Hospital to be examined in a state-of-the-art computerized tomography (CT) scanner.

CT scans — sometimes referred to as CAT scans — use special equipment that emits a narrow X-ray beam to obtain images from different angles around the body and head. The researchers and museum staff are hoping the scans will teach them more about the mummies and the societies in which they lived.

Although full results of the scans are not anticipated until December, medical and museum personnel involved in the project will be available for media interviews from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Oct. 13, on the School of Medicine campus. Available for interviews will be: radiologists Vincent Mellnick, MD, and Michelle Miller-Thomas, MD, of the School of Medicine; Karen Butler, assistant curator of Washington University’s Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum; and Lisa Çakmak, assistant curator of ancient art at Saint Louis Art Museum.

One of the mummies — Amen-Nestawy-Nakht — is owned by the Saint Louis Art Museum. The other two — Pet-Menekh and Henut-Wedjebu — are owned by the Kemper Art Museum but are on permanent loan to the Saint Louis Art Museum.

Amen-Nestawy-Nakht, a male priest, is believed to have lived in the 9th or 10th century B.C. Pet-Menekh, also thought to have been a priest, is a male believed to have lived during the 4th or 3rd century B.C. Henut-Wedjebu, an upper-class woman from the 13th century B.C., was buried with her brain still in her skull. This is not the case with the male mummies.

The Washington University investigational team includes: Sanjeev Bhalla, MD, professor of radiology and chief of cardiothoracic imaging; Pamela Woodard, MD, professor of radiology and director of the Center for Clinical Imaging Research; Vincent Mellnick, MD, assistant professor of radiology; and Michelle Miller-Thomas, MD, assistant professor of radiology.


• For School of Medicine interviews, contact Judy Martin Finch at 314-286-0105 or
• For Saint Louis Art Museum interviews, contact Matthew Hathaway at 314-655-5493 or
• For Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum interviews, contact Liam Otten at 314-935-8494 or

Washington University School of Medicine’s 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient-care institutions in the nation, currently ranked sixth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.