Egyptian pharaoh digitally revealed for the first time

 Humanity has seen the mortal remains of a well-preserved royal mummy for the first time in more than three millennia.

Amenhotep I's was unearthed more than a century ago in a burial site near the Egyptian city of Luxor. However, while the mummies of other ancient Egyptian pharaohs were opened and studied in the 19th and 20th centuries, Amenhotep I's body was kept intact because investigators were afraid to disrupt its near-perfect wrappings and wonderfully painted funeral head.

Researchers have utilized computed tomography (CT) scans to "digitally unwrap" the still-shrouded corpse, providing extensive information on the pharaoh's age and physical appearance at the time of his death more than 3,500 years ago. The scans also reveal startling new details about the odd circumstances surrounding his mummification and burial.

"CT showed Amenhotep I's face for the first time," said Sahar Saleem, a radiologist at Cairo University's Kasr Al-Ainy Faculty of Medicine and main author of a new research documenting the mummy. The findings were published in the journal Frontiers in Medicine on Tuesday.

The scans revealed that Amenhotep I, who ruled Egypt's New Kingdom from 1525 B.C. to 1504 B.C. during the 18th Dynasty, stood roughly 5 feet 6 inches tall. He had an oval face, a small chin and nose, prominent teeth, a left ear piercing, and a circumcised penis. The mummy wore a beaded golden belt and carried 30 amulets, some of which were gold.

Unlike the mummies of previous monarchs, Amenhotep I's arms were most likely folded. Their arms were spread out in front of them, parallel to their bodies.

"The mummy of Amenhotep I was the first to initiate the trend of crossed forearms in front of the chest," Dr. Saleem said, adding that other New Kingdom pharaohs, including Tutankhamen, were also buried with arms folded. The New Kingdom lasted from from 1070 B.C. until 1070 A.D.

An earlier X-ray examination of Amenhotep I's mummy showed that he died in his twenties. However, CT scans, which show the bones and soft tissues in great detail, revealed that he was around 35 years old at the time of his death. Amenhotep I's joints, bones, and teeth showed no symptoms of illness. According to Dr. Saleem, the monarch may have died as a result of an infection.

According to Dr. Saleem, the scans indicated that Amenhotep I was "lovingly reburied" by priests roughly four centuries after his first mummification and entombment.

Amenhotep III's Mummy. I was one of dozens of royal mummies reburied in a cache at Deir el-Bahari, a complex of tombs and temples near Luxor. The reburial took place after the priests repaired damage caused by tomb robbers.

Post a Comment