Scientists Virtually Unwrap the Mummy of King Amenhotep I

The mummy of King Amenhotep I was digitally undressed in a remarkable study conducted by researchers at Cairo University’s Department of Radiology. Led by professor Sahar Saleem, scientists used CT scanning to visualize a mummy that has been left untouched since it was discovered in 1881.

The findings were first published last month in Frontiers in Medicine, which noted a number of extraordinary details — from the King’s facial features and age, to the many decorative accessories that he was preserved with. The 3D images are not exact due to floral garlands obstructing the scan’s path, however, scientists visualized the pharoah’s facial structure which included a small piercing in the lobule of the left ear and a mask that overlaid his face made of painted wood and cartonnage. Additionally, researchers also note that the king was adorned with 30 pieces of jewelry, including a beaded metallic girdle likely made of gold.

King Amenhotep I, whose name translates to “Amun is satisfied,” had a relatively quiet reign over Ancient Egypt from 1525–1504 B.C. While he is known to have protected the kingdom, he is largely accredited with the commissioning of temples, such as the Amun at Karnak. His original tomb has never been found in modern times, however, scholars determined that the pharoah was unwrapped and rewrapped by priests in the 11th Century due to robbers.

Despite being transported to several Egyptian institutions over the past century, it was never thoroughly unveiled, because “its perfect wrapping completely covered by garlands and its exquisite face mask. When the coffin of Amenhotep I was opened, a preserved wasp was found, possibly attracted by the smell of garlands, and was trapped,” Saleem said in a statement.

Although the cause of death is still unknown, scientists were able to determine that the pharoah died around age 35.

In other art news, a collection of Bored Ape NFTs worth millions were stolen from an art gallery owner.
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