Egyptian pharaoh’s 3,500-year-old mummy gets unwrapped digitally for first time

Since discovery in 1881, pharaoh Amenhotep I’s mummified remains have been unwrapped digitally by scientists in Egypt for the first time.   

The development seems to have given intriguing insights into the life of the king.  

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In a press release, Dr Sahar Saleem, professor, radiology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University and the radiologist of the Egyptian Mummy Project, said, “By digitally unwrapping … 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.”   

As the 3,500-year-old mummy was fragile, the archaeologists never tried to expose its remains physically. It seems to be the only Egyptian royal mummy, which was found long time back, but not yet opened for study. It was decorated with wooden face mask and flower garlands.  

The scientists employed three-dimensional computerised tomography (CT) scanning to unwrap and study the mummy.  

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At the time of death, Amenhotep I was around 35 years old and 169 centimeters or 5.5 feet tall, found Saleem and her colleagues.

Within the wrappings, around 30 amulets and a unique gold girdle were also found. The study couldn’t disclose the cause of his death. The king had curly hair, a small narrow nose and a narrow chin, added Saleem.  

In the journal ‘Frontiers in Medicine’, the research has been published on Tuesday.   

(With inputs from agencies) 

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