Cleaning a 2,500-year-old mummy

BOSTON (AP) -- A 2,500-year-old Egyptian mummy has come out of his coffin in Boston to undergo cleaning and restoration at Massachusetts General Hospital.

The mummy known as Padihershef has been on display at the third oldest general hospital in the United States since it received him as a gift from the city in 1823 as a medical oddity.

An expert trained in restoring ancient artifacts removed the mummy from his coffin Friday and started using cotton swabs to clear salt deposits from his face. The salt is a byproduct of the mummification process. His coffin will also be repaired and stabilized.

The procedures are expected to take three days.

Padihershef was a 40-year-old stonecutter in the necropolis in Thebes, an ancient city on the west bank of the Nile -- in what is today's Luxor. He's one of the first complete mummies to be brought to the U.S.


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