The mummy of Egyptian pharaoh Amenhotep I has been digitally unwrapped

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Amenhotep I ruled Egypt from astir 1525 to 1504 BC and his pristine mummy has ne'er been unwrapped, but CT scans person present allowed america to adjacent inside

Humans 28 December 2021

By Alex Wilkins

Facemask of the never-before unwrapped mummy of pharaoh Amenhotep I

Face disguise of the never-before unwrapped mummy of pharaoh Amenhotep I

S. Saleem and Z. Hawass

One of the past remaining unwrapped royal Egyptian mummies has been scanned successful item for the archetypal time.

Amenhotep I, who ruled Egypt from astir 1525 to 1504 BC in an epoch known arsenic the New Kingdom, was recovered successful 1881 by a French Egyptologist. But the king’s mummy was near untouched owed to a highly preserved wrapping and ornate look mask. It has remained sealed successful its sarcophagus ever since.

Now, Sahar Saleem and Zahi Hawass astatine the University of Cairo successful Egypt person “digitally unwrapped” Amenhotep I’s mummy with computed tomography (CT), utilizing hundreds of precocious solution X-ray slices to representation retired the past king’s skeleton and brushed tissue.

“Royal mummies of the New Kingdom were the astir well-preserved past bodies ever found, truthful these mummies are considered a clip capsule,” says Saleem.

“They tin archer america astir what the past kings and queens looked like, their health, past diseases, mummification techniques and manufacturing methods of funerary objects.”

Amenhotep I’s mummy has been examined utilizing elemental X-ray scans successful the past, but the elaborate CT scan reveals respective caller facts: his bony operation indicates that helium was 35 years aged and 168.5 centimetres gangly erstwhile helium died.

The pharaoh's skull, including his teeth successful  bully  information  Right: The pharaoh's mummy

Left: the pharaoh’s skull. Right: the pharaoh’s mummy, showing his skull and skeleton wrong the bandages

S. Saleem and Z. Nuwass

The survey besides seems to reply a long-standing mystery: erstwhile scans had revealed that Amenhotep I had been embalmed by Egyptian priests for a 2nd clip 300 years aft helium was archetypal entombed, aft graverobbers seemingly plundered his coffin. Saleem had theorised that the priests utilized this juncture to pilfer precious jewels placed connected the assemblage and successful the bandages for themselves earlier re-embalming him.

But the plentiful jewellery revealed successful the scan  reveals that the priests “lovingly” re-embalmed Amenhotep I, according to Saleem. It was due to the fact that the priests’ handiwork was truthful awesome and the mummy’s quality was truthful pristine much than 3000 years aboriginal that 19th period archaeologists were convinced to permission him permanently unwrapped.

Journal reference: Frontiers successful Medicine, DOI: 10.3389/fmed.2021.778498

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