Fascinating well-preserved mummy digitally revealed
Amenhotep I was discovered at an Egyptian burial site near Luxor.
The ancient mummy of Amenhotep I was unearthed in the Egyptian city of Luxor over a century ago.
However, while the mummies discovered at the time were opened and examined, Amenhotep I's wrapped body was kept intact because investigators were afraid to disrupt its near-perfect wrappings and wonderfully painted funeral head.
With the help of CT scans, scholars have "digitally unwrapped" the mummy and discovered extensive information on the pharaoh's age and physical appearance when he died more than 3,500 years ago.
The images also show startling new details about the odd circumstances accompanying his mummification.
The mummy returns?
Amenhotep I, who ruled the New Kingdom of Egypt during the 18th Dynasty, was roughly 5 feet 6 inches tall, according to the pictures. He had an oval face, a small chin and nose, projecting teeth, and his left ear was pierced. The mummy wore a beaded golden belt and carried 30 amulets, including gold.
His brain was shrunken but intact, and his heart was left in his chest due to the ancient belief that the heart housed the soul.
Sahar Saleem is a radiologist with Kasr Al-Ainy Faculty of Medicine at Cairo University and the lead author of a study describing the mummy.
Amenhotep I's mummy was the first to popularize crossed forearms in front of the chest. Unlike the mummies of previous rulers, whose arms were spread. According to CT scans, he was around 35 years old at the time of his death and may have succumbed to infection as no traces of disease were found in his teeth or bones.
According to Salima Ikram, an Egyptologist at the American University in Cairo, the body might have been "lovingly reburied" by priests for over four centuries after his death due to tomb thieves looking for jewelry.
Amenhotep I's mummy was one of the dozens of royal mummies reburied in Deir Al-Bahari, near Luxor to keep them safe from robbers. His original resting place remains unknown.