A mummy murder mystery is solved: King’s throat was slit
2012-12-19 0:00

By Megan Gannon | NBCNews.com

Egyptian monarch Ramses III was done in by harem conspirators, researchers believe.

Solving a centuries-old murder mystery, researchers say Egyptian King Ramses III’s throat was likely slit by conspirators in his harem.

Moreover, the body of the pharaoh’s traitorous son, Prince Pentawere, may have finally been found.


This is the mummy of Ramses III. The conspiracy against him is believed to have been led by one of his wives and Prince Pentawere, their son, whose body may have been found at last.


Scholars have long been puzzled about the death of Ramses III, believed to have ruled from about 1186 B.C. to 1155 B.C. during Egypt’s 20th dynasty. While ancient papyrus court documents show that members of the king’s harem plotted to kill him as part of a palace coup, it has remained unclear whether the assassination scheme was successful.

Researchers revisited the mummy of Ramses III looking for answers. Their computed tomography (CT) scans revealed a serious wound in his throat. (Horus was the patron god of kings in ancient Egypt.)

"The large and deep cut wound in his neck must have been caused by a sharp knife or other blade," the team wrote in a paper on their findings, published in the British Medical Journal on Monday. They added that the cut, which severed his trachea, esophagus and large blood vessels, would have killed him instantly.

The researchers also found an amulet bearing the eye of Horus lodged in the mummy’s throat and think it served as a lucky charm.

"Most probably, the ancient Egyptian embalmers tried to restore the wound during mummification by inserting the amulet (generally used for healing purposes) and by covering the neck with a collar of thick linen layers," the researchers wrote.

The conspiracy against Ramses III is believed to have been led by one of his wives, secondary queen Tiye, and Prince Pentawere, their son. Ancient texts suggest Pentawere was found guilty at trial, and then took his own life, but his body has never been definitively identified.

The researchers of the new study also examined a mummy suspected to be Pentawere, dubbed "unknown man E."

A genetic analysis of this mummy showed he shared the same paternal lineage as Ramses III, "strongly suggesting that they were father and son," noted the researchers.

Because of his contorted expression, some scientists have speculated that unknown man E was poisoned or buried alive. The new analysis did not provide a more conclusive cause of death, but they did find that his lungs were overinflated, which could be a sign of death by suffocation or strangulation, perhaps consistent with a suicide.

Man E was also buried in goat skin, a material regarded as ritually impure in ancient Egypt. This might be interpreted as evidence for a punishment in the form of a non-royal burial procedure, the researchers said, concluding that man E is a "good candidate" for Pentawere.


Article from: nbcnews.com






Related Articles
Unwrapping the mummy – Performance and Science
Who stabbed him in the back? Scan reveals 5,500-year-old mummy murder mystery
DNA of Hungarian mummies may help combat tuberculosis
Mummy with Mouthful of Cavities Discovered
Scottish prehistoric mummies made from jigsaw of body parts
Egyptian mummy reconstructions


Latest News from our Front Page

West’s tributes to late Saudi King reveal hypocrisy not democracy
2015-01-27 2:16
Hypocrisy is not usually regarded as a virtue of leadership, yet judging by the gushing tributes paid to Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah by various Western governments and establishment figures on his death, there are those who believe it should be. In the UK this hypocrisy has been stretched to breaking point with the decision to fly the flags over Downing ...
Millions of GMO insects could be set loose in Florida Keys
2015-01-27 2:34
Millions of genetically modified mosquitoes could be released in the Florida Keys if British researchers win approval to use the bugs against two extremely painful viral diseases. Never before have insects with modified DNA come so close to being set loose in a residential U.S. neighborhood. "This is essentially using a mosquito as a drug to cure disease," said Michael Doyle, executive ...
Furguson Scared The Super - Rich So Bad They're Planning Exits
2015-01-27 0:22
According to a speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Ferguson and Occupy absolutely terrified the world’s super-rich, and now they’re buying airstrips and farms in remote locations to escape to. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which was held between January 21-24, over 2,500 leaders in the fields of business, international politics, academia and journalism met to discuss ...
The Ring Of The Nibelungs
2015-01-27 0:20
Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King (also known as Ring of the Nibelungs, Die Nibelungen, Curse of the Ring, and Sword of Xanten) is a 2004 German television film directed by Uli Edel and starring Benno Fürmann, Alicia Witt, Kristanna Loken, and Max von Sydow. The film is based on the Norse mythology story Völsungasaga and the German epic poem Nibelungenlied, ...
Google Street View Shows NAACP Bombing a Hoax
2015-01-26 22:58
Caught in the act: NAACP passing off old soot marks as new in ‘bomb’ hoax NAACP Colorado Chapter President Henry D. Allen Jr. has been caught in the act of passing off old soot marks as new damage from the recent ‘explosion’ at the Colorado Springs chapter headquarters. Although Gotnews.com has previously remarked on the minimal damage as reported by the ...
More News »