Scans reveal details of unwrapped ancient Egyptian mummy

Cairo: Scientists have used digital technology to take the first accurate look inside the mummy of King Amenhotep I, which has remained wrapped in modern times.

The scans revealed details about the appearance and mummification of the king from the 18th dynasty, who ruled Egypt from around 1525 to 1504 BC. and was the son of the founder of the new kingdom Ahmose I.

(Bottom) The image of the right side of the mummy from Amenhotep I shows the body completely wrapped in linen, covered from head to toe with flower garlands and wearing a head mask.  (top from left): Face Mask by Amenhotep I;  pharaoh's skull;  pharaoh's mummy showing his skull and skeleton inside the bandages.

(Bottom) The image of the right side of the mummy from Amenhotep I shows the body completely wrapped in linen, covered from head to toe with flower garlands and wearing a head mask. (top from left): Face Mask by Amenhotep I; pharaoh’s skull; pharaoh’s mummy showing his skull and skeleton inside the bandages.Credit:SN Saleem and Z. Hawass / Borders in Medicine

Amenhotep’s mummy, adorned with decorations on its linen wrapping and its funeral mask, was found with other kings and queens in a hideout in Luxor in 1881 and transferred to Cairo.

Due to efforts to preserve the decoration, it was one of the few royal mummies that were not physically unpacked and examined in the modern era, according to the study in Limits in medicine, a peer-reviewed medical journal.

In 2019, Egyptologist Zahi Hawass and Cairo University professor Sahar Saleem used a computed tomography (CT) machine to “digitally extract” the mummy before moving it to a new collection at the Cairo National Museum of Egyptian Civilization.

The results of their investigation, published on Tuesday, showed that Amenhotep’s face resembled his father’s, and estimated his age at death to be 35, although no cause of death was clear, according to a statement from Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities.

It seemed to show that he was the first king to be embalmed with his forearms crossed on his body, proving that his brain was not removed, unlike most kings in the New Kingdom.

The scans also revealed 30 amulets or jewelry buried with the mummy, including a belt with 34 gold pearls, showing that priests from the 21st dynasty who repackaged the mummy made sure to preserve its ornaments, the ministry statement said.

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