Uncovering the Mysteries of 3,000-year-old Mummy

July 27, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. curator [kyoo-REY-ter] (n.) – the person who manages any place of exhibit, such as a museum or a zoo
Example: The museum’s curator selected some of the paintings for the exhibit next week.

2. horrific [ho-RIF-ik] (adj.)  – causing fear; scary
 Example: The tour guide’s horrific stories about the museum scared the tourists on trip.

3. amulet [AM-yuh-lit] (n.) – a small object, such as a necklace, worn to protect a person from harm or evil spirits
Example: Egyptians often wear amulets to protect them from danger.

4. afterlife [AF-ter-lahyf] (n.) – life after death
Example: Some cultures believe that burning the body of the dead ensures safety and happiness in the afterlife.

5. precedence [PRES-i-duh ns] (n.) – the state of being more important than others
Example: Our tour guide reminded us not to swim in deep waters because safety should always take precedence over enjoyment.


Read the text below.

Researchers from Manchester University hope to uncover the mysteries of a 3,000-year-old Egyptian mummy through the use of modern scanning technology.

Curators at Perth Museum, Scotland are sending the mummy, believed to have been an Egyptian princess or a priestess, to Manchester Children’s Hospital. Researchers will then examine the mummy using CT scans and X-ray technology. They will be using the equipment at the children’s hospital because the scanners are not usually needed at night time.

In the past, scientists have already performed similar scans on other mummies in Manchester’s own collection. The previous scans have revealed various details about the mummies, including the possible causes of death during early times.

According to Dr. Lidija McKnight of Manchester University, most people always want to know the cause of death of ancient people. While researchers usually do not find anything horrific, they usually uncover little details about the mummy’s health, like signs of bone diseases, dental problems, or illnesses related to old age. Scientists also commonly find amulets and metal jewelry inside the mummy’s bandages, which the Egyptians may have believed to protect the dead in the afterlife.

Since the research will be conducted in a children’s hospital, the researchers assure the public that the study will not affect patient care in any way. According to Dr. McKnight, the living should take precedence over the dead. So if an emergency arises, the research team will have to give way. Because of this situation, the investigation will probably take a relatively long time.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you believe that researchers should take time studying mummies? Why or why not?
·         Why do you think some people become very interested in Egyptian mummies?

Discussion B

·         Why is studying about a country’s history important?
·         How do you think people can be more interested in studying history?


July 27, 2013