The Nerd Side Of Life

Pharaoh Amenhotep I’s Mummy Has Been Digitally Unwrapped

When you think of how preservationists have treated mummies throughout history, it can make you cringe that they’ve had to be so invasive. Thanks to CT technology, historians don’t have to be so hands-on with mummies, and can scan a digital version to be unwrapped by computer. This new method of extracting information has been used by Sahar N. Saleem on the mummy of Pharaoh Amenhotep I, and it’s yielded some very interesting results.

The first thing he did was scan three layers of 2d and 3d images of the bandages, death mask, and mummy of the pharaoh. After the scans were complete, the team was able to see images of Amenhotep, and confirm some findings.

Mummy of Amonhotep I – Image by Sahar N. Saleem

He was 35 years of age when he passed away. He had a slender nose, and a slight overbite. His teeth were in good condition and he was circumcised. There was no CT evidence for a cause of death, so they know it wasn’t blunt force trauma. But also, the brain was not removed. They also found multiple articles of jewelry on his person, which is a rare find.

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Amenhotep I’s resting place was desecrated by tomb robbers whom they think caused multiple postmortem injuries. Those injuries were treated by 21st Dynasty embalmers, and they rewrapped his now detached arm as well as other limbs. The jewelry still on the mummy was rare to find because it was not uncommon that they would take the amulets and give them to new pharaohs of the time. And also grave robbers.

The entire study is fascinating and can be read here. Since this study has gone so well, hopefully future mummies will be able to be treated the same. It can also give us better clues on how to properly conserve their bodies so minimal damage is ever done to them.

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