June 14, 2024

The mummy of the Egyptian pharaoh “unwrapped” digitally for the first time

2 min read

BBC Geralt

Published 12/28/2021 3:23 PM / Updated on 12/28/2021 3:25 PM

CT scan reveals the skull of Amenhotep 1 - (Credit: PA Media)

CT scan reveals the skull of Amenhotep 1 – (Credit: PA Media)

The mummified corpse of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh was first studied thousands of years ago after being “disassembled” digitally.

The mummy of Amenhotep I, who ruled from 1525 to 1504 BC, was found at the site of Deir el-Bahari 140 years ago.

But archaeologists have refrained from opening it in order to preserve the finest face masks and bandages.

Computed tomography (CT) scans have now revealed previously unknown information about the pharaoh and his burial.

Amenhotep I was 35 years old when he died, said Sahar Selim, a professor of radiology at Cairo University and lead author of the study published in the journal Frontiers in Medicine.

Sahar Selim, Professor of Radiology, Faculty of Medicine, Kasr Al-Ainy, Cairo University, next to the mummy of Amenhotep I and the CT scan machine.

Media PA
Saleem says the body photos showed no wounds or disfigurement due to the disease.

“He was about 169 cm tall, circumcised and had good teeth. Inside his sleeve, he wore 30 amulet and a unique golden belt with golden beads,” she told PA Media.

“Amenhotep 1 appears to resemble his father physically: a narrow chin, a small thin nose, curly hair, and slightly protruding upper teeth.”

However, Saleem said, no injuries or disfigurements from an illness have been identified that would indicate the cause of death.

Researchers have been able to gain insight into the mummification and burial of Amenhotep, who was the second king of the Eighteenth Dynasty, including that he was the first pharaoh to have his forearms cut across his chest and that, exceptionally, his brain was not removed. ..

They also concluded that the mummy was “lovingly reformed” by the priests of the Twenty-first Dynasty, who ruled for nearly four centuries after his death.

Face mask on the mummy of Amenhotep 1

Media PA
Twenty-first dynasty priests buried the mummy of Amenhotep I twice

Scans showed that the mummy had several post-mortem injuries that were likely caused by grave robbers.

They also showed that the priests attached the head and neck separated to the body with a ribbon of linen treated with resin, covered a defect in the abdominal wall with a ribbon and put an amulet under it, wrapping the left arm away from the body.

Selim said the jewelry and amulets seen in exams contradict theories that priests could have removed them for use by later pharaohs.

The priests reburied the mummy of Amenhotep 1 in the royal cache at Deir el-Bahari, a complex of tombs and temples near Luxor, to preserve its integrity.

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