Researchers Unravel Secrets of 3,500-Year-Old Mummy: Egyptian Pharaoh Amenhotep I Digitally Unpacked

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In Egypt, scientists have digitally extracted a 3,500-year-old mummy. It is about Amenhotep I, a pharaoh who ruled the North African country in the 16th century BC. The researchers did not do this literally but used a 3D CT scan of the royal mummy. This allowed them to study the pharaoh’s remains in unparalleled detail, they say.


Researchers at Cairo University in Egypt conducted a study of the remains of pharaoh Amenhotep I. After his discovery in 1881, the pharaoh’s mummy was never unpacked. She was one of the few royal mummies with whom this did not happen for a long time.

Until now, today, the scientists published their research findings in the medical journal Frontiers in Medicine. The first thing that stands out from this is the researchers’ method to unpack the mummy. The mummy was not literally stripped of her bandages but was examined digitally.

After all, the cloths in which the pharaoh is stored are decorated with flower garlands, and the mask is also inlaid with stones. Since they are still in perfect condition, the researchers do not want to cause any damage to them.

To find out what’s hidden behind the bandages, scientists made a 3D-CT scan of Amenhotep I. This allowed them to study the pharaoh in unparalleled detail, they say. And that resulted in a lot of interesting findings. For example, the researchers came across thirty amulets and a belt with golden beads between the cloths.

But the researchers also learned a lot about Amenhotep I physically. For example, the relatively small pharaoh (1.68 meters, ed.) died at the age of 35. No signs of injuries or illness were found on his body. Also striking was the good teeth of Amenhotep I, which is rather rare for someone of that time. Researchers cannot comment on the intestines’ condition because they were removed after his death. The brain and heart remained unaffected.

According to the researchers, the pharaoh had a narrow nose and chin, curly hair, and looked very much like his father. He had succeeded him in the sixteenth century BC as head of state of Egypt. Amenhotep I remained at the helm for 21 years and was the second king of the Eighteenth Dynasty.



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