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Science reveals new secrets of ancient Egyptian mummies

Egyptian researchers have been able to analyze the body of a 3500 year old mummy thanks to the CT-Scan technology, which allows them to analyze mummified bodies without damaging them. A technical feat that will allow us to discover more about the mysteries of ancient Egypt.

Analyzing the mummy without damaging it

This mummy, 3500 years old according to the researchers, is that of the pharaoh Amenhotep, and was discovered in 1881 in Luxor, during archaeological excavations. It is also the only mummy of which the archaeologists have never undone the strips, in order to preserve it as well as possible.

This Wednesday, December 29th, the Egyptian researchers Sahar Saleem, professor of radiology at the University of Cairo, and Zahi Hawass, renowned Egyptologist (also former Minister of Antiquities of Egypt), decided to analyze the mummified body of this ancient pharaoh, 140 years after its discovery.

Thanks to an X-ray that allows them to scan these thousand-year-old mummies without damaging them, Egyptologists were finally able to learn more about the mysteries surrounding the life and death of Pharaoh Amenhotep.

 

 CT-Scan of Amenhotep’s mummy

 

Advanced technology 

The technique used by the CT-Scan has allowed researchers to uncover important data about Amenhotep’s life, and as a result, to learn more about Egyptian culture from 1500 BC. Inserted into an MRI-like machine, the mummy was scanned, revealing the age of the pharaoh, who died at about 35 years old, as well as a much better set of teeth than other mummies of the time.

But above all, these analyses with the scanner made it possible to reveal that it is the first mummified corpse with its brain, and with his arms crossed. 

“This had never happened with any other mummy. All the following mummies were buried in the same position” says Zahi Hawass. A discovery that only this scanner could reveal to researchers. 

It is also thanks to this technological prowess that Zahi Hawass and his team discovered, in 2012, what had caused the death of the famous pharaoh Ramses III three thousand years ago, which allowed to solve a thousand-year-old enigma about one of the greatest pharaohs of ancient Egypt.