Wednesday, January 25, 2023
Cairo – (BBC)
It seems that the mummy of the young king Tutankhamun appeared to have a rival mummy, after archaeologists uncovered the mummy of another teenage boy belonging to the upper class in ancient Egypt, who underwent an embalming procedure with a heart of gold 2,300 years ago.
Scientists had found the mummy of the boy, who is believed to have died at the age of about 14 or 15, for the first time in 1916, but the mummy had been preserved in the stores of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo for more than a century, along with dozens of other mummies, without being subjected to Close examination by experts.
The situation changed when a team led by Sahar Selim, professor of radiology at the Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, decided to study the mummy using digital tomography.
The images revealed that the mummy of the deceased boy was adorned with 49 amulets with 21 different designs, many of which were made of gold. That’s why scientists called the mummy the “Golden Boy,” Selim announced in an article published in Frontiers in Medicine.
The new discovery of the mummy allows it to be displayed in the Egyptian Museum.
The CT scan of the mummy made it possible to determine the boy’s belonging to the upper class, as “his teeth and bones were intact, and there was no evidence of malnutrition or disease,” and also because his remains underwent a “high-quality” embalming process, which included extraction of the brain and internal organs.
The pictures showed the presence of an amulet, under the (linen) wraps that surrounded the boy’s mummy, two fingers long next to his uncircumcised penis, as well as the presence of a golden tongue inside the mouth, and another heart scarab amulet, also made of gold, located inside the mummy’s chest cavity.
Sahar Selim said that the ancient Egyptians used to place amulets on the mummies of the dead with the aim of “protecting them and giving them vitality” in the afterlife.
She explained that “the golden tongue is inside the mouth to be able to speak in the other world.”
The images also showed the boy’s mummy wearing sandals, with garlands of ferns placed on the outside.
The mummy, which is estimated to date back to the late Ptolemaic period (about 30-332 BC), was found in the city of Edfu, in southern Egypt, in 1916, six years before an excavation expedition led by British archaeologist Howard Carter yielded The discovery of the tomb of King Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings.
The mummy of the “golden boy” was placed inside two coffins for protection, an outer one bearing inscriptions in the Greek language, and an inner wooden one, and the boy was wearing a gilded face mask.
Scientists participating in the study believe that this discovery is the first in a series of discoveries expected in the future.
“Egypt witnessed large-scale excavations during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, which resulted in the extraction of thousands of preserved ancient mummies, many of which are still preserved in their scrolls and inside their coffins,” Selim said.
She added, “The Egyptian Museum in Cairo, since its opening in 1835, has been a repository for these treasures, and its basement is filled with many of these mummies that have been closed for decades without being studied or displayed.”
In the past, she said, mummies were removed from wrappings and subjected to complete dissections for research purposes.
She added that the use of tomography has become a wonderful tool these days to study the remains without destroying them, which allows scientists to delve more into “the health, beliefs and capabilities of humans in ancient times.”
She concluded, “Digital tomography is an important advance in radiology. Instead of using a single image, hundreds of imaging slices of the body can be combined to create a full 3D model.”