Engineering 101

What Digitally ‘Unwrapped’ Amenhotep I Teaches Us About Mummies

Egyptologists have never been bold enough to open the mummy of Pharaoh Amenhotep I. In fact, the perfectly wrapped mummy remained undisturbed until now. Scientists from Egypt used three-dimensional CT scanning to ‘digitally unwrap’ the royal mummy and study its contents, reporting their findings in Frontiers in Medicine.

It was the first time in three millennia that Amenhotep’s mummy has been opened. Hieroglyphics described how during the later 21st dynasty, priests restored and reburied royal mummies from more ancient dynasties to repair the damage done by grave robbers.

Amenhotep I was approximately 35 years old when he died. He was about 169 cm tall, circumcised, and had good teeth. Within his wrappings, he wore 30 amulets and a unique golden girdle with gold beads.

Researchers discovered that at least for Amenhotep I, 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.

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