CAIRO – 28 December 2021: The secrets of the mummy of King Amenhotep I remained hidden under the scrolls and the funeral face mask until they were recently revealed in the scientific study published on December 28, 2021 in the Frontiers Journal of Medicine by Zahi Hawass, the famous Egyptologist and former Minister of Antiquities, and Sahar Selim, professor of radiology at the Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University.
Selim and Hawass utilized advanced x-ray technology from computed tomography and advanced computer programs to decouple the mummy of Amenhotep I in a safe digital manner without the need to touch the mummy.
For the first time , the Egyptian study revealed details about the face of the pharaoh, his age and health, in addition to many secrets of the mummy's mummification and reburial.
The mummy of King Amenhotep I, the funerary mask, is the icon of the majestic royal mummies procession that transferred mummies of Egypt’s ancient kings and queens from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Fustat in early April of 2021.
King Amenhotep I is the son of King Ahmose, conqueror of the Hyksos, who took the throne of Egypt after his father and ruled the country for twenty-one years from 1525 to 1504 BC during the 18th Dynasty.
The mummy of King Amenhotep I was found in 1881 in the cache of the Royal Deir el-Bahari in Luxor, where the priests of the 21st Dynasty reburied and hid the mummies of many kings and princes to protect them from tomb robbers.
After their transfer to Cairo, all the royal mummies were unwrapped between 1881 and 1896, except for the mummy of King Amenhotep I.
It is the only royal mummy that has not been unwrapped in the modern era in order to preserve the beauty of the mummy covered with a funerary mask and wreaths of colorful flowers.
The face of the owner of this mummy and the information about him remained trapped in the scrolls and behind the royal mask until the scientific study that was recently published in the prestigious scientific journal Frontiers in Medicine by Zahi Hawass, the famous archaeologist with Sahar Selim, professor of radiology at the Faculty of Medicine at Cairo University.
The two Egyptian scientists examined the mummy of King Amenhotep I using a computerized tomography (CT) machine located in the garden of the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir, where the two Egyptian scientists used modern techniques of tomography to remove the scrolls from the mummy of King Amenhotep I, by default, safe by computer programs and without affecting the mummy.
This technique preserves the mummy intact without touching, unlike the old method of unwinding the coils with actual suspicion, which exposed them to damage.
Hawass explained that this study succeeded for the first time in more than three thousand years to remove the scrolls by computer from the face of King Amenhotep I, who turned out to be very similar to his father’s mummy, King Ahmose I, which is preserved in the Luxor Museum.
The study also accurately determined the age of King Amenhotep I at the time of death being 35 years.
The study predicted the king's good health, as no diseases or injuries appeared in the mummy that predicted the cause of death.
The study revealed exciting information about the distinctive embalming method of King Amenhotep I, where it became clear that the position of crossing the forearms on the body of the mummy of kings (which is called the Osiris position) began with the mummy of King Amenhotep I.
This Osiris position was not seen in those who preceded King Amenhotep I, but continued after him in the kings of the New Kingdom.
For her part, Sahar Selim indicated that the study proved that the brain was still present in the skull of King Amenhotep I. The brain was not removed during the mummification process, unlike most of the kings of the New Kingdom such as Tutankhamun and Ramses II, among others, where the brain was removed and embalming materials and resins were placed inside the skull.
The accurate 3D scans used in the study also revealed the presence of 30 amulet inside the mummy and between its coils, as well as the presence of a belt under the back of the mummy consisting of 34 gold beads.
Moreover, the study carried out by the Egyptian team also revealed the precise technique of the ancient Egyptians in making the mummy’s funerary mask and placing precious stones on it.
The study revealed, for the first time, the secrets of the treatment of the royal mummies by the priests of the 21st Dynasty to re-bury them in the two royal caches in the Valley of the Kings and Deir el-Bahari.
Furthermore, the study proved the great care that the priests of the 21st Dynasty paid in the re-burial of the mummy of King Amenhotep I, the preservation of gold ornaments and the placement of many amulets inside the mummy, which restores confidence in the goodwill of the project to rebury the royal mummies to preserve them, contrary to the allegations raised that the goal was to steal jewelry and valuables from the mummies of ancient kings to be reused for the kings of the 21st Dynasty.
It is worth mentioning that Hawass and Selim used CT scans to examine forty royal mummies from the New Kingdom in the Royal Mummies Project of the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, which began in 2005 and continues until now.
One of the important results of this project is revealing the secrets of the killing of King Ramses III in the Conspiracy of the Harem and the killing of King Seqenenre Tao in the Battle of Egypt’s Silk from the Hyksos invaders, which indicates that modern archeology in the hands of Egyptian experts can rewrite history.