An Egyptian research team was able to reveal surprises and secrets about the “mummy of the golden boy”, which remained “unknown” for decades to experts in pharaonic history, relying on CT scans and 3D printing techniques.
Since its transfer to the Egyptian Museum from its discovery site in Aswan Governorate, in the south of the country, in 1916, the mummy of the young boy was not subjected to study and examination until 2015, by Professor of Radiology at the Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Sahar Selim, in cooperation with the Director General of the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir, and the former director. for the museum.
After years of examining and studying the mummy, the scientific research conducted by the team revealed the identity of this mummy, its social status, the state of its preservation and the secrets it contains, in a study published in the journal Frontiers in MedicineYesterday, Tuesday.
This mummy was found wrapped entirely in linen, in 1916, inside a tomb from the Ptolemaic era (about 300 BC) in the city of Edfu in the Aswan Governorate in southern Egypt, where it was moved and preserved, at that time, in the Egyptian Museum without examination for more than a century, according to statment Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.
Professor of Radiology at the Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Sahar Selim, explained that the mummy belonged to a boy who died at the age of 15 and that it was embalmed with great perfection, as the brain was removed through the nostril and fillings and resin were placed inside the skull cavity.
She added that the boy’s bowels were extracted from a small incision in the lower abdomen, and fillings and resin were placed inside the body, while the embalmers were keen to keep the heart, which was seen in x-rays, inside the chest cavity.
And the main researcher continued in the study, that the x-rays showed what was inside the wraps, where the mummy wore a golden mask, a chest made of cardboard, and sandals made of fabric, according to the statement.
The two- and three-dimensional CT scan images revealed the presence of about 49 amulets arranged in an ornate arrangement in three columns between the folds of the linen rolls and inside the mummy’s cavity, according to the details of the study.
The rays also showed 21 different shapes of the pharaonic amulets, such as the eye of the idol of Horus, the scarab, the amulet of the horizon, the placenta, the knot of Isis, the two feathers, and others.
And through the results of radiological measurements, it was found that 30 of the amulets discovered inside the mummy were made of gold, while the rest of the amulets were made of stones or faience, in addition to an amulet in the form of a tongue of gold placed inside the mouth of the deceased “so that he could speak in the other world.”
During the research, an amulet in the form of two fingers was also found at the bottom of the torso to protect the mummification opening, and another large gold amulet of the Pharaonic “heart scarab” symbol was found inside the mummy’s chest cavity, a copy of which was made using 3D printing.
Selim confirmed that the study revealed the face of the mummy for the first time after removing the scrolls by default using CT scan technology, explaining that it provided a unique opportunity to discover the secrets of mummification without prejudice to the scrolls, as the ancient Egyptians left them.
For her part, the Director General of the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir, Sabah Abdel Razek, explained that the recent study shed light on social life in ancient Egypt thousands of years ago.
She stated that she also provided “a deep understanding of their beliefs and funerary rituals, and their technical prowess in mummification and craftsmanship in crafting amulets, making masks and decorations.”
The study reveals, according to the ministry’s statement, the appreciation of the ancient Egyptians for children, as this mummy enjoyed distinguished funerary rituals that enabled it to resurrect and the other life according to the beliefs of the ancient Egyptians, in addition to its roles in showing the high social status of the owner of the mummy, as he is a boy who enjoyed funeral rituals of high standing, along with his condition. Good health, where he had healthy teeth and bones, without signs of disease or symptoms of malnutrition.
The use of modern technology and techniques in medical imaging tomography helped provide valuable insight into the mummy, which supported the decision of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo to move the mummy from the museum’s “basement” for display in its exhibition halls, under the name “The Mummy of the Golden Boy”.