Egyptian scientists have digitally unwrapped the 3,500-year-old mummy of pharaoh Amenhotep I, finally revealing some of its secrets after the remains of the king were discovered in 1881 in southern Egypt.
The wooden sarcophagus of Amenhotep I, ruler during the 18th dynasty of the New Kingdom of Egypt.
Decorated with flower garlands and a wooden face mask, Amenhotep’s mummy was so fragile that archaeologists had never dared to expose the remains before, making it the only royal Egyptian mummy found in the 19th and 20th centuries that was not yet opened for study.
But now for the first time, scientists from Egypt have used three-dimensional CT (computed tomography) scanning to “digitally unwrap” the royal mummy and study its contents, without stripping it of any of its strips.
“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,” Dr Sahar Saleem said in the release.
Amenhotep I, who died 3,000 years ago, had notably healthy teeth, according to researchers.
Through the scan results, the researchers learned that Amenhotep I was about 35 years old and 169cm tall when he died. Pharaoh has a narrow chin, small nose, and curly hair. He had healthy teeth and a slightly protruding upper jaw, and he was circumcised.
CT scans also helped researchers confirm that Amenhotep had been circumcised.
The above image shows damage to Amenhotep’s pelvis and abdomen sustained post mortem during a grave robbery that occurred a few hundred years after his burial.