Researchers used CT scans to virtually unwrap a pristine mummy


In 1881, archaeologists learned the mummy of Amenhotep I in Deir el-Bahari, a village outside the house of Egypt’s famous Valley of the Kings. For a hundred and forty a long time, experts have been unwilling to unwrap the king’s body out of panic they’ll problems his ornate encounter mask and bandages. But thanks to personal computer tomography (CT) technologies, they never have to just take that threat anymore. Researchers at Cairo College just lately digitally “unwrapped” Amenhotep to find out about his life and dynasty.

The scans discovered he was about 35 a long time outdated when he died. “Amenhotep I appears to be to have physically resembled his father: he experienced a narrow chin, a modest narrow nose, curly hair, and mildly protruding higher tooth,” Dr. Sahar Saleem, the lead creator of the analyze, explained to PA Media. It is not distinct why he passed away at these kinds of a youthful age. Researchers found no proof of exterior wounds or disfigurements that may have contributed to his loss of life.

Amenhotep I

Sahar Saleem et al.

What they did uncover had been different write-up-mortem injuries that had been most likely inflicted on the body by grave robbers. That problems was “lovingly repaired” by mortuary monks of the twenty first Dynasty some four hundred a long time following Amenhotep’s loss of life. They used a resin-handled linen band to reattach the head and neck together. Researchers also found some thirty amulets hidden amid Amenhotep’s bandages. The reality they had been continue to there even following his reburial most likely disproves the very long-held principle that monks of later on dynasties would reuse the ornaments in the funeral rites of their pharaohs.

The analyze delivers an perception into just one of the most fascinating periods of Egyptian background. Amenhotep I ruled amongst 1525 and 1504 BCE, all through Egypt’s New Kingdom period. He was amid the to start with pharaohs of the 18th dynasty, a lineage that would later on include things like Akhenaten, the controversial “heretic” pharaoh who released the kingdom to a monotheistic-like faith centered all-around the solar. He was also the father of Tutankhamun or King Tut. 

The to start with time archaeologists used a CT scan to study a mummy was in 1977. As the technologies has matured and turn out to be additional obtainable, it has authorized researchers to analyze mummies in techniques they couldn’t right before. In 2017, for occasion, Chicago’s Field Museum was ready to dive into its collection, just one of the most in depth in the US, with the support of moveable CT scanners.

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