The mummified remains of ancient Egyptian pharaoh Amenhotep I were opened and examined by digital methods for the first time in nearly 3,500 years.
Ancient Egypt the mummified remains of the pharaoh were opened and examined by digital methods for the first time in nearly 3,500 years.
The mummy of Amenhotep I, who ruled B.C. from 1525 to 1504 B.C., was found 140 years ago in the Deyrü’l Bahri region of Egypt, where temples and tombs are located.
Archaeologists had so far been reluctant to open the mummy and uncover the remains, wanting to preserve the sensitive face mask and bandages.
However, thanks to computed tomography scans, previously unknown facts about the pharaoh’s life and funeral were discovered.
Prof. Dr. Sahar Saleem, a radiologist at Cairo University, said scans revealed that Amenhotep I was about 35 years old when he died.
“Amenhotep was about 169 centimeters tall, circumcised and had very good teeth. Under the bandages, Amenhotep wears 30 amulets and a gold belt with unique gold beads.”
“We think he looks like Amenhotep I’s father. He had a narrow jaw, a small narrow nose, curly hair and slightly protruding upper teeth.”
Dr Saleem said they found no injuries or deformations to Amenhotep’s body to determine the cause of death.
The researchers found that Amenhotep I, the second pharaoh of the 18th dynasty, was the first pharaoh whose arms were placed on his chest while he was being embalmed and his brain was not removed from his skull.
Researchers also discovered that the mummy was “painstakingly repaired” by priests during the 21st dynasty almost 400 years later.
Digital scans showed the mummy suffered various injuries thought to have been done by grave robbers.
Scans also suggest that the monks reconnected Amenhotep’s severed head and neck area to his body with a linen band treated with resin, repaired a damage to the abdomen and repaired his left arm, which had been severed from the body.
After the monks made these repairs, they re-buried Amenhotep I’s mummy in the Deyrü’l Bahri area.
Dr Saleem said theories that priests stole jewellery and amulets were disproved by scans.