The application of radiography to the study of Egyptian mummies followed soon after the discovery of x-rays by Wilhelm Roentgen in December 1895 (Boni et al. 2004). Four months later, in March 1896, Walter Koenig obtained radiographs of a mummified child and a cat from the Senckenberg Museum in Frankfurt, Germany (Koenig 1896). In the same year, Thurston Holland obtained a radiograph of a mummified bird in Liverpool, United Kingdom (UK) (Holland 1937).
At this time, the radiographic equipment was mobile and used on site but was quite primitive, with limited tube rating (exposure limited, and so it may have been impossible for the x-ray beam to penetrate through very thick and dense material of the sarcophagus/cartonnage) and exposure times were long (3 minutes or more).
In 1898, William Flinders Petrie, Professor of Egyptology at University College London, and a major figure in the history of mummies and archaeological sciences, applied x-rays to the examination of mummified human remains from Deshasheh, south of Cairo (Petrie 1898). In 1904, the anatomist and anthropologist in Cairo, Sir Grafton Elliot Smith, assisted by Howard Carter, applied x-ray examination to the mummy of Tuthmosis IV, determining the age of the king at death (Smith 1912).
In 1931, Moodie surveyed the Egyptian and Peruvian mummies in the Chicago Field Museum in one of the earliest comprehensive radiographic studies of such collections (Moodie 1931).