Pharaoh Amenhotep I Facemask

Facemask of the never-before unwrapped mummy of pharaoh Amenhotep I. Credit: S. Saleem and Z. Hawass

Study reveals that 21 st dynasty conservators ‘adoringly brought back’ mummy, eliminating theory that they were set on recycling old royal burial devices.

All the royal mummies discovered in the 19 th and 20 th centuries have actually long given that been opened for research study. With one exception: egyptologists have actually never ever been vibrant enough to open the mummy of Pharaoh Amenhotep I. Not due to the fact that of any legendary curse, however since it is completely covered, wonderfully embellished with flower garlands, and with face and neck covered by an elegant natural facemask inset with vibrant stones. Now for the very first time, researchers from Egypt have actually utilized three-dimensional CT (computed tomography) scanning to ‘digitally unwrap’ this royal mummy and study its contents. They report their findings in Frontiers in Medicine

This was the very first time in 3 centuries that Amenhotep’s mummy has actually been opened. The previous time remained in the 11 th century BCE, more than 4 centuries after his initial mummification and burial. Hieroglyphics have actually explained how throughout the later 21 st dynasty, priests brought back and reburied royal mummies from more ancient dynasties, to fix the damage done by severe burglars.

Pharaoh Amenhotep I Skeleton

The pharaoh’s mummy, revealing his shrunken skull and skeleton within the plasters. Credit: S. Saleem and Z. Nuwass

” This truth that Amenhotep I’s mummy had actually never ever been unwrapped in modern-day times offered us a distinct chance: not simply to study how he had actually initially been mummified and buried, however likewise how he had actually been dealt with and reburied two times, centuries after his death, by High Priests of Amun,” stated Dr Sahar Saleem, teacher of radiology at the Faculty of Medicine at Cairo University and the radiologist of the Egyptian Mummy Project, the research study’s very first author.

” By digitally unwrapping of the mummy and ‘removing’ its virtual layers– the facemask, the plasters, and the mummy itself– we might study this unspoiled pharaoh in unmatched information,” stated Saleem.

” We reveal that Amenhotep I was around 35 years of ages when he passed away. He was roughly 169 cm high, circumcised, and had great teeth. Within his wrappings, he used 30 amulets and a distinct golden girdle with gold beads.”

” Amenhotep I appears to have physically resembled his dad: he had a narrow chin, a little narrow nose, curly hair, and slightly extending upper teeth.”

Pharaoh Amenhotep I Skull

The pharaoh’s skull, including his teeth in great condition. Credit: S. Saleem and Z. Hawass

Saleem continued: “We could not discover any injuries or disfigurement due to illness to validate the cause of death, other than many mutiliations post mortem, most likely by severe burglars after his very first burial. His entrails had actually been eliminated by the very first mummifiers, however not his brain or heart.”

The mummy of Amenhotep I (whose name indicates ‘Amun is pleased’) was found in 1881– to name a few reburied royal mummies– at the archeological website Deir el Bahari in southern Egypt. The 2nd pharaoh of Egypt’s 18 th dynasty (after his dad Ahmose I, who had actually expelled the attacking Hyksos and reunited Egypt), Amenhotep ruled from around 1525 to 1504 BCE. His was a sort of golden era: Egypt was flourishing and safe, while the pharaoh bought a spiritual structure spree and led effective military explorations to Libya and northern Sudan. After his death, he and his mom Ahmose-Nefertari were worshipped as gods.

Sahar Saleem and her co-author egyptologist Dr. Zahi Hawass, had actually formerly hypothesized that the primary objective of the conservators from the 11 th century was to recycle royal burial devices for later pharaohs. Here they negate their own theory.

” We reveal that a minimum of for Amenhotep I, the priests of the 21 st dynasty adoringly fixed the injuries caused by the burial place burglars, restored his mummy to its previous magnificence, and protected the spectacular precious jewelry and amulets in location,” stated Saleem.

Hawass and Saleem studied more than 40 royal mummies of the New Kingdom in the Egyptian Antiquity Ministry Project that was introduced given that2005 Twenty-two royal mummies, consisting of that of Amenhotep I, were moved in April 2021 to a brand-new museum in Cairo. The face of the mummy of Amenhotep I with its mask was the icon of the amazing ‘Royal Golden Mummy Parade’ on March 3rd, 2021 in Cairo.

” We reveal that CT imaging can be successfully utilized in anthropological and archeological research studies on mummies, consisting of those from other civilizations, for instance Peru,” concluded Saleem and Hawass.

Reference: “Digital unwrapping of the mummy of King Amenhotep I (1525-1504 BC) utilizing Computed Tomography (CT)” 27 December 2021, Frontiers in Medicine
DOI: 10.3389/ fmed.2021778498


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