Egyptian pharaoh’s mummified body gives up its secrets after 3,500 years | Egyptology

Along with his slender chin, small nostril and curly hair he bodily resembles his father, stated radiologist Sahar Saleem. Maybe surprisingly for somebody who lived about 3,500 years in the past, he additionally has strikingly good tooth.

Saleem is speaking in regards to the mummified body of the pharaoh Amenhotep I, a warrior king who has been one thing of an enigma in that he is among the few royal mummies to not be unwrapped in fashionable instances.

Till now, that’s. Saleem, a professor of radiology at the faculty of medicine at Cairo University, is a part of a staff which has efficiently unwrapped Amenhotep I not bodily however digitally.

The outcomes, utilizing 3D computed tomography (CT) scanning know-how, are unprecedented and engaging. They supply particulars about his look and the lavishness of the jewelry he was buried with.

A scan of the skull of Amenhotep I
CT scanning confirmed that Amenhotep I had good tooth, in contrast to many royal mummies. {Photograph}: Dr Sahar Saleem/College of Cairo/PA

“We present that Amenhotep I used to be roughly 35 years previous when he died,” Saleem stated. “He was roughly 169cm tall [5ft 6in], circumcised, and had good tooth. Inside his wrappings, he wore 30 amulets and a novel golden girdle with gold beads.

“Amenhotep I appears to have bodily resembled his father … he had a slender chin, a small slender nostril, curly hair, and mildly protruding higher tooth.”

Saleem is lead writer of a examine printed on Tuesday in the journal Frontiers in Medicine.

She stated the actual fact his tooth have been so good was testomony to how “wonderful” the mummification course of was. “Mummified our bodies have been nicely preserved. Even the tiny bones contained in the ears have been preserved. Little question Amenhotep’s tooth have been well-preserved. Many royal mummies had unhealthy tooth, however Amenhotep I had good tooth.”

Amenhotep I used to be the second king of the 18th dynasty and ascended to the throne after the dying of his father, Ahmose I. He dominated Egypt for about 21 years between roughly 1525 and 1504BC.

His identify means “Amun is happy”. His throne identify was Djeserkare – “Holy is the Soul of Re” – and he’s seen as having a peaceable reign which allowed him time to focus on administrative organisation and the constructing of temples. He might have co-reigned together with his mom, Ahmose-Nefertari.

A golden beaded girdle with a green snail amulet
A golden beaded girdle with a snail amulet, certainly one of 30 amulets worn by Amenhotep below his wrappings. {Photograph}: Dr Sahar Saleem/College of Cairo/PA

Egyptologists know from decoded hieroglyphics that Amenhotep was unwrapped by clergymen within the eleventh century BC – throughout the twenty first dynasty – in an effort to restore injury executed by tomb robbers.

It had additionally been speculated that they unwrapped him in an effort to reuse royal burial tools or steal ornaments. Saleem stated their findings debunked these theories and confirmed the clergymen had the very best of intentions.

The unique tomb of Amenhotep I has by no means been discovered. He was found in 1881 at a website in Luxor the place it’s recognized officers of the twenty first dynasty hid the mummies of kings and nobles in an effort to shield them from tomb robbers.

His house is the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. He has not been unwrapped due to the “excellent” linen wrappings lined by garlands of delphiniums, Egyptian riverhemp and safflowers, and the great thing about his painted burial masks.

Dr Sahar Saleem standing beside a CT scanner machine with the mummy
‘Like unwrapping a present’: Dr Sahar Saleem of Cairo College scanning the mum. {Photograph}: Dr Sahar Saleem/College of Cairo/PA

When the coffin was first opened a preserved wasp was discovered, in all probability attracted by the odor of the garlands.

The analysis staff has found Amenhotep’s mind is undamaged, in contrast to different kings together with Tutankhamun and Ramses II.


Saleem stated the venture had been an thrilling one, “like unwrapping a present”.

The staff had been hoping to seek out proof of how Amenhotep died however that has proved elusive.

“We couldn’t discover any wounds or disfigurement because of illness to justify the reason for dying, besides quite a few mutilations postmortem, presumably by grave robbers after his first burial,” stated Saleem. “His entrails had been eliminated by the primary mummifiers, however not his mind or coronary heart.

“We present that a minimum of for Amenhotep I, the clergymen of the twenty first dynasty lovingly repaired the accidents inflicted by the tomb robbers, restored his mummy to its former glory, and preserved the magnificent jewelry and amulets in place.”

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