PUM II and Hapi-Men, two of the ancient Egyptian mummies on display in Mummies Secrets and Science, have had their share of medical scrutiny. PUM II was both x-rayed and autopsied in 1973, while Hapi-Men underwent an x-ray in 1980. In April 2009, researchers took them to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, for a more technologically advanced CT scan to find out more about the 2,000 year-old mummies. They were joined by Hapi-Men’s mummified pet, affectionately known as Hapi-Puppy. All three mummies were successfully scanned, and returned to the Penn Museum before before the hospital’s living human patients’ CT scan appointments began.
Seven additional mummies on display in the Museum also have doctor's appointments for scanning in the near future. The results of this procedure will eventually inform a new segment of the current exhibition.
Since 2002, scholars at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, facilitated by a major grant from the National Science Foundation, have been working with the Department of Radiology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania on a major, long-term project to CT scan the Museum’s human skeletal collections of thousands of human and primate specimens, as well as collections from Columbia University, the American Museum of Natural History, and recently, the Mutter Museum of The College of Physicians in Philadelphia.