The mummy of an Egyptian pharaoh was “unwrapped” with a tomograph and revealed its secrets after 3,500 years

(S. Saleem and Z. Hawass / Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities)

Pharaoh’s mummy Amenhotep I is the only royal one that had not been opened in modern times due to its exceptional state of preservation, although thanks to the digital technology a group of scientists have been able to digitally undo their bandages to access some of their secrets.

The use of the Three-dimensional computed tomography has shown that the pharaoh died around the age of 35, although “no wound or disfigurement due to a disease that justified the cause of death was found.”

Amenhotep I was about 1.69 meters tall, circumcised, and had good teeth; in addition, within their wraps he carried 30 amulets and a gold sash with beads of the same metal.

Amenhotep I
Amenhotep I was about 1.69 meters tall, circumcised and had good teeth (S. Saleem and Z. Hawass / Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities)

The mummy was opened in the 11th century BC (more than 3,000 years ago and four centuries after its original burial) so that the priests could restore the damage caused by the grave robbers.

Now, a team led by Cairo University publishes in Frontiers in Medicine the result of his research on the mummy of Amenhotep, discovered among other royal mummies at the site of Deir el Bahari (Egypt) in 1881 and since then It had been kept intact to preserve its neat wrapping.

The mummy of King Amenhotep I is transported in a convoy from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Fustat, in Cairo, Egypt on April 3, 2021. (REUTERS / Amr Abdallah Dalsh)
The mummy of King Amenhotep I is transported in a convoy from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Fustat, Cairo, Egypt on April 3, 2021. (REUTERS / Amr Abdallah Dalsh) (AMR ABDALLAH DALSH /)

The mummy is beautifully decorated with flower garlands and its face and neck are covered by an exquisite realistic mask with colored stones.

“The fact that the mummy of Amenhotep I had never been unfolded in modern times gave us a unique opportunity“, he pointed Sahar saleem, from Cairo University and lead author of the study.

Dr. Sahar Saleem, one of the study's authors, places a mummy in the standing CT machine in a previous study (EFE / Sahar Saleem)
Dr. Sahar Saleem, one of the study’s authors, places a mummy in the standing CT machine in a previous study (EFE / Sahar Saleem)

On the one hand, he explained, it was not only possible to study how it had been originally mummified and buried, but also how he had been treated and reburied centuries after his death by the high priests of Amun.

“By digitally unwrapping the mummy and ‘peeling off’ its virtual layers – the face mask, the bandages, and the mummy itself – we were able to study this well-preserved pharaoh in unprecedented detail.”Saleem said.

The expert believes that Amenhotep I may have physically resembled his fatherHe had a narrow chin, a small narrow nose, curly hair, and slightly protruding upper teeth.

The three-dimensional CT image of the wrapped mummy head of Amenhotep I in a left lateral view allows visualization of the component layers: the mask, the mummy's head, and the surrounding bandages.  (FRONTIERS IN MEDICINE)
The three-dimensional CT image of the wrapped mummy head of Amenhotep I in a left lateral view allows visualization of the component layers: the mask, the mummy’s head, and the surrounding bandages. (FRONTIERS IN MEDICINE) (FRONTIERS IN MEDICINE /)

The team did not find any injuries or disfigurements due to illness that would justify the cause of death.except for numerous post-mortem mutilations, presumably performed by grave robbers. The first mummifiers had removed its entrails, but not its brain or heart.

Second pharaoh of the 18th Egyptian dynasty, Amenhotep ruled from about 1,525 to 1,504 BC a time when Egypt was prosperous and safe, during which he ordered numerous religious buildings and led military expeditions to Libya and northern Sudan.

The study served so that Saleem and another of the authors, Zahi hawass, qualify some of their theories, since they had previously speculated that the main intention of the restorers of the eleventh century BC was to reuse the royal funerary equipment for later pharaohs.

Renowned Egyptian Egyptologist Zahi Hawass in a file photo EFE / Isaac J. Martín
The renowned Egyptian Egyptologist, Zahi Hawass in a file photo EFE / Isaac J. Martín (Isaac J. Martín /)

However, at least in the case of Amenhotep I, the priests “lovingly repaired the wounds inflicted by the grave robbers, restored his mummy to its former glory, and kept the magnificent jewels and amulets in place”Saleem said.

The authors consider that three-dimensional computed tomography images “can be usefully used in anthropological and archaeological studies on mummiesincluding those of other civilizations, for example in Peru”.

(With information from EFE)

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Source-www.infobae.com