Scientific advancements in imaging technology, genetics and nano research have allowed museums to make new and surprising discoveries about the tightly wrapped mysteries of ancient mummies.

Archaeologists have long used carbon-14 dating (also known as radiocarbon dating) to estimate the age of certain objects.

Traditional radiocarbon dating is applied to organic remains between 500 and 50,000 years old and exploits the fact that trace amounts of radioactive carbon are found in the natural environment.

In contrast, from 1955 to 1963, atmospheric radiocarbon levels almost doubled.

Since then they have been dropping back toward natural levels.

She and the museums' laboratory experts spoke at a news conference Jan. Amenta spearheaded the museums' Mummy Project in 2007, using the latest scientific techniques to study and restore the nine mummies in their collection.

Their first two-year round of sophisticated testing revealed the "she" mummy identified on the sarcophagus as "daughter of Sema-Tawi" is really a "he," who suffered from what looks like a benign tumor on the scalp—making it what could be the first case of this kind of tumor for a mummy.

Carbon-14 dating is a way of determining the age of certain archeological artifacts of a biological origin up to about 50,000 years old.

It is used in dating things such as bone, cloth, wood and plant fibers that were created in the relatively recent past by human activities.

A child mummy is found high in the Andes and the archaeologist says the child lived more than 2,000 years ago.

How do scientists know how old an object or human remains are?

forensic science Definition: the study of evidence discovered at a crime scene and used in a court of law Context: Forensic science is used to investigate details of a crime, such as the identity of a victim or suspect or the time the crime took place.