Solved the mystery of “the mummy of the screaming woman”

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Friday, July 24, 2020 – 12:39

The nicknamed “mummy of the screaming woman” was one of those many mysteries kept by the pharanic civilization. Egyptian researchers, with the meditician Zahi Hawass at the helm, have just unraveled that enigma

Woman mummy screaming

  • Egypt.

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For millennia, his features kept a tense and disturbing condemn, as if death had come suddenly and fast enough to eternally freeze his screams of pain. The nickname “mummy of the screaming woman” it was one of those many mysteries kept by the pharanic civilization. Egyptian researchers, with the meditico Zahi Hawass At the helm, they have just finished unraveling that riddle.

The computerized tomography to which the battered corpse was subjected in the dusty laboratories Egyptian Museum of Tahrir has revealed that the woman suffer from arteriosclerosis, a disease that occurs when the arteries that carry oxygen and nutrients from the heart to the rest of the body harden, becoming stiff and thick and reducing the flow of blood to organs and tissues. The pathology, today treatable, ended up causing a heart attack which is fatal.

The deceased whose appearance has raised countless questions was found in the royal mummy cache discovered in 1881 in Deir el Bahari, in the arid confines of the current city of Luxor, about 600 kilometers south of Cairo. In the cache successive priests of Dynasties XXI and XXII deposited the coffins of members of the pharanic royalty to prevent them from ending up in the hands of the soulless treasure hunters.

“Our hypothesis is that the body of the ‘screaming woman’ was not discovered instantly but a few hours later. There was a sufficient period of time for rigor mortis to develop,” says Hawass, a former Egyptian minister of antiquities and author of the joint study. to Sahar Salim |, professor of radiology at Cairo University.

After his death the woman he remained with his legs crossed and bent, his head tilted to the right and his jaw disengaged, in a gesture that many linked with expressions close to pain and fear. In the preparations for his afterlife, no one could or wanted to modify those features. “We have to assume that the embalmers probably mummified the contracted body of the ‘screaming woman’ before it decomposed or relaxed,” Hawass says.

“They could not, therefore, achieve that the mouth was closed or put the body in a relaxed position and lying down, as was usual with other mummies, thus preserving his facial expression and the posture he had at the time of his death,” emphasizes the Egyptologist, who also tries through technology to decipher his identity.

In the linen wrappings that kept his body, the first clue was found in hieroglyphic writing: “the royal daughter, the royal sister of Meritamen”, prayed the fabric between its folds. The existence of several princesses with the name of Meritamen made their identification impossible. Among those who bore such a denomination are the daughters of the pharaohs Seqenenre Tao (1560-1555 BC) and Ramss II (1279-1213 BC).

Hawass’s research now suggests that the enigmatic womanr could be the daughter of Seqenenre Tao, nicknamed the “Bravo”, but an upcoming DNA analysis could clear up the doubts. The woman passed away when I had passed 60 years. By then the condition of arteriosclerosis was very advanced and had spread throughout the body, from the coronary arteries to those of the lower extremities, the neck, or the abdominal aorta. The deceased received a good embalming although her brain was not removed, the dissected presence of which is shown on radiographs. Those who prepared her corpse for the journey to the Ms All removed the verses, placed expensive materials such as resin and scented spices, and wrapped the mummy for eternity in exclusive white linen.

The zeal with which they organized their journey towards the resurrection contrasts with that of another of the mummies found in the hideout, which was nicknamed as “the mummy of the screaming man”. The scan and DNA analysis of this accidental fatigue partner also signed by Hawass identifies him as Pentaur, a son of Ramss III (1186-1155 BC) implicated in a conspiracy against his father and forced to commit suicide by hanging himself as punishment for his wickedness. After his death, Pentaur received another sentence, that of not being embalmed. Instead, his corpse was wrapped in sheepskin and marked “impure” on his journey to hell.

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