A 2300-year-old “golden” Egyptian mummy was opened in the basement of the museum after a century

The mummified remains of a teenage boy, kept unexamined in a museum in Cairo for more than a century, have been digitally opened for the first time, revealing many amulets and plants adorning his body.

In one study, was published Tuesday in the journal Frontiers in Medicine, researchers discovered that an unnamed teenager passed into the afterlife wearing a pair of white sandals at just 14 or 15 years old. They used computed tomography (CT), which allows digital reconstruction of bones, blood vessels, soft tissue, and more, through X-rays to look inside the coffin.

“Here we show that the body of this mummy was extensively decorated with 49 amulets, beautifully styled in a unique arrangement of three columns between the folds of wrappings and inside the mummy’s body cavity,” said radiologist Sahar Saleem of Cairo University, Egypt. and first author on the paper. They named the mummy “Golden Boy”.

Saleem points out that the Golden Boy’s decorations match some of the rituals described in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, including sandals. He is adorned with three pillars of amulets between the folds of his bandages, including items such as the Eye of Horus – a scarab beetle inside his chest and a two-fingered amulet next to his penis. Most of the ornaments were made of gold.

All of his organs were removed except for his heart, and scans revealed that he also had perfect teeth.

The sarcophagus of the Golden Boy was first discovered in 1916 in the necropolis at Nag el Hassaya, the cemetery of the city of Edfu, but it was kept in the Egyptian Museum. The boy lived during the Ptolemaic period between about 330 and 30 BC and was of high status due to the “luxurious gilded mask” in which he was buried. research.

Saleem and his colleagues were earlier The mummy of Amenhotep I was digitally opened He returned in 2021 and was in charge A knife wound was found in the throat of Ramesses III, as well as a missing fingersuggested that he was killed by a group of assassins.

Egyptians believed that life does not end with death. Instead, there was an afterlife. The process of mummification and encasing in ornaments, amulets and plants was designed to help the spirit of the dead move through the afterlife. The Golden Boy provides further evidence for the importance of funeral rites and these ornaments in the life of the boy during the Ptolemaic period.

The research led the Egyptian Museum to move the Golden Boy from the basement to the main exhibition hall, where it will be exhibited.

Updated January 23rd: Added details on the mummy from the research paper.

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