“Well-preserved” mummy of historic Egyptian pharaoh is “digitally unwrapped,” revealing what’s inside for first time in 3,000 years

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For the primary time, scientists have used three-dimensional expertise to “digitally unwrap” the mother of an historic Egyptian pharaoh that had not been opened in 3,000 years. Scientists mentioned the mother of Amenhotep I used to be effectively preserved, permitting them to uncover details about the ruler and his burial in “unprecedented detail.” 

The researchers used 3D computed tomography (CT) scanning to see inside the mother of Amenhotep I, who dominated Egypt from roughly 1525 to 1504 BCE. The ruler’s mummy was discovered totally wrapped in 1881, and in response to researchers, is likely one of the few royal mummies to not be bodily unwrapped in fashionable occasions. 

The scans revealed that Amenhotep was buried with 30 amulets and jewellery items, together with a beaded metallic girdle. The researchers revealed their findings within the journal Frontiers in Medicine.

mummy of Amenhotep I
(A) Side view of the mother of Amenhotep I reveals the physique totally wrapped in linen, coated from head to ft with floral garlands, and carrying a head masks. (B) Head masks of the mother of Amenhotep I, product of painted wooden and cartonnage. 

Sahar N. Saleem, Zahi Hawass / Frontiers in Medicine

Sahar Saleem, radiologist of the Egyptian Mummy Project and first writer of the research, mentioned that the pharaoh’s thriller supplied researchers with a “unique opportunity.” 

“This fact that Amenhotep I’s mummy had never been unwrapped in modern times gave us a unique opportunity: not just to study how he had originally been mummified and buried, but also how he had been treated and reburied twice, centuries after his death, by High Priests of Amun,” she mentioned in a assertion. “By digitally unwrapping of the mummy and ‘peeling off’ its virtual layers — the facemask, the bandages, and the mummy itself — we could study this well-preserved pharaoh in unprecedented detail.”

CT picture of the top of the wrapped mummy of Amenhotep I reveals the part layers: the masks, the top of the mother, and the encompassing bandages.

Sahar N. Saleem, Zahi Hawass / Frontiers in Medicine

The scientists discovered that Amenhotep was roughly 35 years previous when he died of unknown causes. The pharaoh was initially thought to have died between the ages of 40 and 50, based mostly on a 1932 X-ray research, after which a 1967 research estimated that he was across the age of 25.

“He was approximately 169 cm [5-and-a-half feet] tall, circumcised, and had good teeth,” Saleem mentioned. “Amenhotep I seems to have physically resembled his father: he had a narrow chin, a small narrow nose, curly hair, and mildly protruding upper teeth.” 

His identify was confirmed by hieroglyphic inscriptions on the coffin. The mummy was wrapped in linen and “covered from head to feet” in crimson, yellow and blue floral garlands. On high was a masks with pupils product of obsidian crystals.

Amenhotep’s entrails had additionally been eliminated when he was first mummified, researchers discovered, however not his mind or coronary heart. And although “well-preserved,” the pharaoh’s stays did maintain a number of accidents after his loss of life, together with decapitation and a “detached left upper limb,” seemingly attributable to tomb robbers. twenty first Dynasty embalmers tried to repair and rewrap the mother about 5 centuries after Amenhotep’s loss of life.

“We show that at least for Amenhotep I, the priests of the 21st dynasty lovingly repaired the injuries inflicted by the tomb robbers, restored his mummy to its former glory, and preserved the magnificent jewelry and amulets in place,” Saleem mentioned.

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