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Analysis in the computer tomograph: grave goods discovered from a 2300


Researchers have X-rayed a mummified corpse from ancient Egypt using modern technology. Accordingly, a golden tongue amulet should make the buried boy's way to the afterlife easier.

Enlarge image

The digital image shows the interior of the »Golden Boy« mummy in four layers

Photo: SN Saleem / dpa

A boy in ancient Egypt was sent on his last journey with 49 valuable amulets, researchers report.

What makes it so special is that the mummy, which is around 2,300 years old, has never been opened.

X-raying with a computer tomograph (CT) revealed the magnificent additions, according to the specialist magazine "Frontiers in Medicine".

Among other things, a golden tongue amulet was placed in the mouth of the deceased to enable him to speak in the afterlife, the experts explain.

The boy, also known as the "golden boy", was mummified at the age of about 15 and was about 1.30 meters tall.

Computed tomography is a 3D X-ray examination that can be used to create cross-sectional images of a body or other objects.

The mummy was discovered in Upper Egypt in 1916.

It dates from the Ptolemaic period around 330 BC.

Since it was found, the piece has been kept in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

Skull filled with resin

"The body of this mummy was extensively adorned and beautifully stylized in a unique arrangement," said Sahar Salim, professor of medicine at Cairo University and leader of the study.

The amulets were made of gold, semi-precious stones, fired clay and ceramics.

"Its purpose was to protect the body and give it strength in the afterlife," said Salim.

The ancient Egyptians believed that the spirit lives on in the afterlife after death.

According to belief, however, access was only gained after a dangerous path through the underworld and after the verdict of a final judgement.

Relatives and embalmers therefore endeavored to make it possible for the deceased to arrive in the afterlife and to protect his body.

The »Golden Boy«, who probably had a high social status at the time of his death, also received shoes in return.

"The sandals were probably supposed to allow him to walk out of the coffin," Salim said.

It is similar in the Book of the Dead of ancient Egyptians.

The boy also wore a gilded mask and breastplate.

According to the research team, the brain was removed through the nose and the skull filled with resin.

Except for the heart, the internal organs were also removed.


Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2023-01-24

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