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History & Heritage


The cause of death of this pharaoh is finally known 3600 years later.

A scanner performed by a team of Egyptian scientists has just revealed the true cause of death of Pharaoh Seqenenre Taa II, nicknamed “The Courageous”, who ruled Egypt almost 1600 years before our era. Verdict: he would have fallen in battle!

It is by examining his mummy, more than 3600 years old, with X-rays, that a team of Egyptian scientists has just managed to determine the cause of death of Pharaoh Seqenenenrê Taa II, nicknamed “the Courageous”. Thus, the one who led the Egyptians during the XVIIth dynasty (-1625 to -1549), and in particular directed the Egyptian troops against the Asian invaders Hyksôs, first foreigners to have conquered the Nile delta, would have died from a wound contracted during a fight. 

With the help of three-dimensional images, archaeologist Zahi Hawass and Cairo University radiology professor Sahar Salim concluded that the pharaoh was killed by his opponents in an “execution ceremony” after being taken prisoner on the battlefield. 

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A real work of investigation

To take it further, they analyzed the weapons (axe, spear and daggers) that belonged to the Hyksos, and indicated their “compatibility with the wounds” of the mummy, as well as new bruises, until then hidden by the work of the embalmers. In addition, through careful study of his bones, Egyptian scientists estimated that he “was 40 years old when he died.

These results are the conclusion of extensive research that has been conducted since the discovery of the king’s mummy in the late 19th century. As early as the 1960s, medical imaging techniques were used on his remains …

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Published on 19 February 2021