SCIENCE: 3,000-Year-Old Mummy Is ‘Digitally Unwrapped’ For The First Time.

The per­fect­ly pre­served mum­mi­fied body of the Egypt­ian Pharaoh Amen­hotep I has been seen for the first time in cen­turies after it was dig­i­tal­ly ‘unwrapped’ using high-tech scanners.

Researchers have pre­vi­ous­ly refused to uncov­er the late Pharao­h’s body because of its beau­ti­ful­ly dec­o­rat­ed wrap­ping and life-like face­mask inset with colour­ful stones.

How­ev­er, thanks to new com­put­er topog­ra­phy (CT) scan­ning tech­nol­o­gy, the body has been able to be scanned giv­ing researchers a peek behind the lay­ers of wrapping.

Under­neath the lay­ers of wrap­ping, which includ­ed flower gar­lands, Egyp­tol­o­gists were able to find pre­vi­ous­ly unknown details about his appear­ance and the lav­ish jew­ellery he was buried with.

Egyp­tol­o­gists knew from decod­ed hiero­glyph­ics that the mum­my had been unwrapped once in the 11th cen­tu­ry BCE – more than four cen­turies after his orig­i­nal mum­mi­fi­ca­tion and burial.

But it was believed the priests who did the rebur­ial did so to both repair dam­age done by grave rob­bers and to reuse roy­al bur­ial equipment.

How­ev­er, Dr Sahar Saleem, pro­fes­sor of radi­ol­o­gy at the Fac­ul­ty of Med­i­cine at Cairo Uni­ver­si­ty and the radi­ol­o­gist of the Egypt­ian Mum­my Project, and first author of the study – pub­lished in Fron­tiers in Med­i­cine – said their find­ings debunked those theories.

She said: “This fact that Amen­hotep I’s mum­my had nev­er been unwrapped in mod­ern times gave us a unique oppor­tu­ni­ty: not just to study how he had orig­i­nal­ly been mum­mi­fied and buried, but also how he had been treat­ed and reburied twice, cen­turies after his death, by High Priests of Amun.

“By dig­i­tal­ly unwrap­ping of the mum­my and ‘peel­ing off’ its vir­tu­al lay­ers – the face­mask, the ban­dages, and the mum­my itself – we could study this well-pre­served pharaoh in unprece­dent­ed detail.

“We show that Amen­hotep I was approx­i­mate­ly 35 years old when he died. He was approx­i­mate­ly 169cm tall, cir­cum­cised, and had good teeth. With­in his wrap­pings, he wore 30 amulets and a unique gold­en gir­dle with gold beads.

“Amen­hotep I seems to have phys­i­cal­ly resem­bled his father: he had a nar­row chin, a small nar­row nose, curly hair, and mild­ly pro­trud­ing upper teeth.”

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