Scientists have just opened a mummy, without touching it

Historians have just discovered a treasure in 3D. The face of a pharaoh was offered to them without them touching the mummy.

In Egyptology, many are the followers, professionals or amateurs who will tell you that the most beautiful of the treasures to be found, it remains the intact tomb of a mummy. Looted since antiquity, the latter are often empty, and the tombs of pharaohs are still rare today. If Tutankhamun’s tomb is so famous, it is not because it is about a great pharaoh, on the contrary, but because it has perfectly withstood the test of time, until its discovery. in 1922 by Howard Carter.

Another pharaoh has lived very well the last 3000 years, he is a distant ancestor of Tutankhamun. Amenhotep I is thus the second pharaoh of the 18th dynasty, he lived between -1504 and -1506, almost 200 years before Tutankhamun, eleventh pharaoh of the same dynasty. If the name of Amenhotep I is much less known, the body of the latter is nevertheless full of mysteries.

A mummy in perfect condition

Preserved in Egypt since its rediscovery in the 19th century, the pharaoh’s mummy had never been opened, offering little opportunity for scientists to study it. But thanks to the progress of new technologies, now they have succeeded in unraveling the mysteries of this mummy in perfect condition, all without even touching it.

As Sahar Saleem, a radiologist at Cairo University and chief scientist of this new study, explains, the pharaoh’s body could be studied thanks to a new generation X-ray system, based on computed tomography. This brand new study technique made it possible to “reveal the face of the pharaoh” without having to undo all the bands surrounding the mummy.

A face with curly hair

They are excellently well preserved and have remained intact for nearly 3000 years. While the pharaoh’s tomb was first looted shortly after his death, the Egyptian priests of the time had decided to embalm and bury the mummy a second time. It is this second ceremony, carried out with the greatest care, which made it possible to have today a tomb in an almost perfect state.

Under the bandages, scientists were therefore able to see dozens of jewelry, but also amulets, thought to bring good luck during the journey to the afterlife. Surprisingly discovered by scientists on the pharaoh’s skull, the latter seemed to have curly hair, rare information for the time, which shows a certain peculiarity of the pharaoh.

Died at 35 after a few years of reign, of unknown cause, the pharaoh’s tomb was discovered in 1907 by the famous Howard Carter.

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