Researchers used CT scans to barely wrap a pristine mummy

In 1881, archaeologists discovered the mummy of Amenhotep I in Deir el-Bahari, a village outside Egypt’s famous Valley of the Kings. For 140 years, scientists were reluctant to wrap the king’s body for fear they would damage his ornate mask and bandages. But thanks to computed tomography (CT) technology, they don’t have to take that risk anymore. Researchers at Cairo University recently “unpackaged” digital Amenhotep to learn about his life and reign.

Scans showed he died around 35 years old. Dr Sahar Saleem, lead author of the study, said: ‘Amenhotep resembles my father physically: he has a narrow chin, narrow nose, curly hair and slightly protruding upper teeth,’ said Dr Sahar. Saleem, the study’s lead author, told PA Media. It is not clear why he passed away at such a young age. The researchers found no evidence of external injuries or deformities that could have led to his death.

Amenhotep I

Sahar Saleem et al.

What they discovered was that many of the post-mortem wounds were likely inflicted on the body by grave robbers. That damage was “lovely repaired” by the mortuary priests of the 21st Dynasty some 400 years after Amenhotep’s death. They used a strip of plastic treated linen to reattach the head and neck. The researchers also found about 30 amulets hidden in Amenhotep’s ice. The fact that they were still there even after his reburial may disprove the long-held theory that priests of later dynasties would reuse the ornaments in the pharaohs’ funeral rites. their.

The study provides an insight into one of the most fascinating periods of Egyptian history. Amenhotep I ruled from 1525 to 1504 BC, during the New Kingdom period of Egypt. He was one of the first pharaohs of the 18th dynasty, a lineage that would later include Akhenaten, the controversial “heretic” pharaoh who introduced the kingdom to a Religion is like monotheism revolve around the sun. He was also the father of Tutankhamun or King Tut.

The first time archaeologists used CT scanning to examine mummies was in 1977. As the technology has developed and become more accessible, it has allowed researchers to study the exact marinated in ways they couldn’t do before. For example, in 2017, Chicago’s Field Museum was able to delve into his collection, one of the largest in the United States, with the help of a portable CT scanner.

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