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Publication Information

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Title: Condition Assessment of a 2,500-Year-Old Mummy Coffin

Author: Ross, Robert J.; Dundar, Turker;

Date: 2012

Source: USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, Research Note, FPL-RN-0327, 2012

Publication Series: Research Note (RN)

Description: This work was conducted to assess the condition of a 2,500-year-old mummy coffin. The coffin, part of a collection of funerary objects at the Nelson‚ÄďAtkins Museum of Art in St. Louis, Missouri, is made of wood obtained from a sycamore fig tree, Ficus sycomorus. Visual and acoustic-based nondestructive testing techniques were used to inspect the coffin. The upper portion of the coffin was remarkably well preserved; both visual and acoustic tests revealed no signs of deterioration. An area of deterioration in the bottom portion of the coffin was found. Based on our assessment, museum staff were able to design and construct a case that enabled them to display the coffin in a vertical orientation.

Keywords: mummy, coffin, nondestructive evaluation

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Ross, Robert J.; Dundar, Turker. 2012. Condition assessment of a 2,500-year-old mummy coffin. USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, Research Note, FPL-RN-0327, 2012.


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