pharaoh is not bothered by computed tomography technology
Egyptian researchers are using computed tomography technology to digitally unbox the Second Pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty, the mummy of Amenhotep I, without disturbing its beautifully decorated exterior.
Egyptian researchers have deployed a non-invasive scanning technique to find out what’s inside the ancient mummy of Pharaoh Amenhotep I.
Sahar N. Saleem of the Department of Radiology, Kasr Al Ainy Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, and Zahi Hawass of Egyptian Antiquities, Cairo, Egypt, led the scanning mission which ensured that the mummy of Pharaoh Amenhotep I remained intact.
Pharaoh Amenhotep I reigned between 1525 and 1504 BCE as the second emperor of the 18th Dynasty.
The researchers used computed tomography (computed tomography) to look inside the mummy. The method provides a detailed three-dimensional image of what is inside while preserving the integrity of the mummy.
The mummy of Amenhotep I is unique in that “all royal mummies found in the 19th and 20th centuries have long been open to study,” says a press release. The exception, the mummy of Amonhotep I is “perfectly wrapped, beautifully decorated with garlands of flowers and with the face and neck covered with an exquisite and realistic facial mask encrusted with colored stones”, which made Egyptologists hesitate. to unwrap the beautiful and delicate mummy.
Yet the mummy of Amenhotep I was actually opened after it was mummified and buried – by restorers of the 21st Dynasty, in the 11th century BCE. Priests restored and re-buried royal mummies from older dynasties, âto repair the damage caused by tomb robbers,â as the hieroglyphics describe.
âThe fact that the mummy of Amenhotep I was never unboxed in modern times gave us a unique opportunity: not only to study how he was originally mummified and buried, but also High Priests of ‘Amon,’ said Dr Sahar Saleem, professor of radiology at the Cairo University Faculty of Medicine and radiologist of the Egyptian Mummy Project, the study’s first author.
“By digitally unwrapping the mummy and ‘peeling off’ its virtual layers – the face mask, the bandages and the mummy itself – we could study this well-preserved pharaoh in unprecedented detail,” Saleem said.
âWe show that Amenhotep I was around 35 when he died. He was about 169 cm tall, was circumcised and had good teeth. In its packaging it carried 30 amulets and a unique golden belt with gold beads, âshe continued.
“Amenhotep I seems to have physically resembled his father: he had a narrow chin, a small narrow nose, curly hair and slightly protruding upper teeth,” Saleem noted.
Saleem and Hawass describe in Frontiers of medicine that the mummy suffered from “several post-mortem wounds probably inflicted by grave robbers” which were probably treated by embalmers of the 21st Dynasty.
The interventions of subsequent priests include: âFixing the detached head and neck to the body with a band of resin treated linen; cover a defect in the anterior abdominal wall with a tape and place two amulets underneath; placing the detached left upper limb next to the body and wrapping it against the body.
The researchers also note that “the transversely oriented right forearm is individually wrapped, possibly representing the original 18th Dynasty mummification and believed to be the first known New Kingdom mummy with the arms folded across the chest.” The head mask is made of cardboard and has inlaid stone eyes.
Saleem also said: âWe have not found any injury or disfigurement from illness to substantiate the cause of death, except for numerous postmortem mutilations, presumably by grave robbers after his first burial. His entrails had been taken by the first mummifiers, but not his brain or his heart. “
Scientists had speculated that the priests of the 21st Dynasty had opened the mummy “to reuse royal burial material for subsequent pharaohs”, but turned out to be false.
They write in Frontiers of medicine that his mummy had been repackaged twice by subsequent priests, noting that “CT images show the extent of damage to the mummy of Amenhotep I which involved neck fractures and beheading, a large defect in the anterior abdominal wall and disarticulation of the extremities (left upper limb, right hand and right foot).
“We show that at least for Amenhotep I, the priests of the 21st Dynasty lovingly repaired the wounds inflicted by the tomb robbers, restored his mummy to its former glory and kept the magnificent jewelry and amulets in place,” Saleem said.
The mummy of Amenhotep I was discovered, among other reburied royal mummies, in 1881 at Deir el Bahari in southern Egypt. His father, Ahmose I, was the first pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty, “who expelled the Hyksos invaders and reunified Egypt.” Amenhotep’s reign is considered a golden age, and at his death he and his mother Ahmose-Nefertari were “worshiped like gods.”
Hawass and Saleem have studied more than 40 royal New Kingdom mummies since 2005, of which twenty-two, including that of Amenhotep I, were moved to a new museum in Cairo in April 2021. Amenhotep’s face mask was used as an icon of the âRoyal Mummyâ. Parade ‘which took place in March 2021 in Cairo.
Source: TRTWorld and agencies