The 3,000-Year-Old Mummy of a Famous Egyptian Pharaoh Has Been Digitally Unwrapped

The mummy of ancient Egyptian pharaoh Amenhotep I was wrapped in exquisitely wrapped flowers and buried with a face mask, but scientists have been hesitant to open it. Until now.

A team of researchers used computed tomographic scans to unwrap Amenhotep's body for the first time and see what he would've looked like when he died.
The pharaoh was 35 years old when he died and had good teeth, as well as being circumcised, according to the researchers. A study co-author said that there were 30 amulets and a golden girdle with gold beads under the wrappings.
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Zahi Hawass, Egypt's former minister of antiquities and co-author of the new study, said that the amulets had a function to help the king in the afterlife.
Amenhotep I's mummy is wearing a piece of jewelry. The Egyptians wore jewelry around their waists. Saleem told Live Science that some girdles have shell amulets on the side.

The Cairo Museum is in Egypt. Patrick Landmann is the photographer.

Amenhotep I.

During the 18th dynasty, Egypt expanded in northern Sudan. The building program started by the pharaoh saw the construction of many temples. Nobody knows where the pharaoh was buried.

Amenhotep's mummy was found in a tomb on the west bank of Thebes by a team led by French Egyptologist Gaston Maspero. His mummy was stolen in ancient times and was placed in the tomb sometime during the 21st dynasty.
The pharaoh's body was damaged by the robbers. Saleem and Hawass wrote about the extent of the damage to the mummy of Amenhotep I, which included a large defect in the abdominal wall and disarticulation of the extremities.
The researchers found that the priests had repaired the mummy by placing limbs back in their place and rewrapping the mummy with bandages.
Saleem said that the priests of the 21st dynasty lovingly repaired the injuries inflicted by the tomb robbers, restored his mummy to its former glory, and preserved the magnificent jewelry and amulets in place.

The cause of the pharaoh's death is not known. Saleem said that they couldn't find wounds or disfigurement due to disease to justify the cause of death.
Pharaoh's teeth were in good shape at the time of his death. S. Saleem/Z. Hawass.

The scans show what the pharaoh looked like when he was alive. Saleem said thatAmenhotep had a narrow chin, a small nose, curly hair, and slightly protruding upper teeth.
The researchers said that Amenhotep I was one of the few royal mummies that had not been examined in detail.

The fact that Amenhotep I's mummy had never been unwrapped gave us a unique opportunity to study how he had originally been mummified and buried, but also how he had been treated and reburied twice, centuries after his death.
There is a skull and a skeleton underneath the wrappings. S. Saleem and Z. Hawass are credited.

Live Science reached out to scholars who weren't involved in the research. "It's all very interesting, but I'm not sure there's anything earth- shattering here," said Dodson, an Egyptology professor at the University of Bristol in the UK.

The golden girdle may be without direct parallels, but nearly all other royal mummies were completely robbed, so this doesn't mean very much.
Kara Cooney, an Egyptology professor at UCLA, said it's possible that the 21st dynasty priests put the golden girdle on Amenhotep I.

According to Live Science, the high priests of Amun, who effectively controlled parts of Egypt during the 21st dynasty, viewed Amenhotep I as an Ancestor and may have placed a girdle on him to show their affection.

The book "Recycling for death" will be published by American University in Cairo Press and will discuss this topic more.

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The article was published by Live Science. The original article can be found here.