Digital Unwrapping of Mummy Amenhotep I

Jay Kakade
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Image A: Body of Amenhotep completely wrapped in linen. Image B: Body of Amenhotep I unwrapped digitally using computed tomography imaging. Credit: S. Saleem and Z. Hawass

Amenhotep I was the second Pharaoh - Common Term used for Ancient Egyptian Monarchs - from 18th dynasty, Ascended throne after his after Father Ahmose I. He ruled Egypt for almost 21 years (c.1525–1504 BC), some estimates he co-ruled with his mother Ahmose-Nefertari. He managed to effectively extend territories in Nubia. He was first to separate his funeral house from Temple, May be to save it from robbers.

In 1902, The Royal Mummies were shifted to Egyptian Museum at Tahrir in Cairo. Mummy of Amenhotep I is one of the few mummies which is not unwrapped by researchers.
Experts says, The reason for not unwrapping mummy of Amenhotep I is its perfect wrapping, Covered with Garlands and Exquisite face mask. When Amenhotep I was excavated, a preserved wasp was found. May attracted to garlands and trapped in.

According to report of Frontiers in Medicine, Now, For the first time researchers have digitally unwrapped Mummy Amenhotep I. They used Three Dimensional Computed Tomography.



Three Dimensional View of Amenhotep I, digital unwrapping by CT Imaging. Credit: S. Saleem and Z. Hawass

Egyptian hieroglyphs - Ancient Egypt writing system - describes how priests stored and buried this royal mummies. Egyptian Hieroglyphs states, This mummies were reburied and restored again to restore damage done by robbers.

According to Dr. Sahar Saleem, professor of radiology at the Faculty of Medicine at Cairo University, The fact we didn't physically unwrapped Mummy Amenhotep I but by virtually gives us idea of not only studying it but also how they were originally stored and buried. Digital unwrapping allowed excavation of its layers: the head mask, the wrapping bandages, and the mummy. Digital excavation allowed us to study both components interiors as well as exterior.

Amenhotep I was 35 years old he died, 169cm tall and with healthy teeth. Within his burial, He wore 30 amulets and a Golden Girdle. He physically to much resembled his father: A narrow Chin, small narrow nose and curly hairs. Researchers have not observed any wounds or other symptoms which would clarify cause of death.


Three Dimensional View of Skull of Amenhotep I. Credit: S. Saleem and Z. Hawass

There were some damages to his body, but were after his death. May be done by grave robbers. Mummifiers have removed Amenhotep's internal organs except Brain and Heart. Researchers thanks to rulers of 21st Dynasty who restored damages, injuries and restored mummies in its original glory.

{Though the mummifiers restored Mummy to its glory, but If such artifacts or even huge constructs too are left under soil for thousands of years, then nothing will be left for future generations to dig up. They will be eroded completely by biological processes.}

This digital unwrapping using Computed Tomography imaging can be used for studying other civilization without breaking them into pieces.
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