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

Capture the Flag: Rebels & Rainbows
2015-07-02 5:24
The White House turned into a rainbow as the Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage legal nationwide, bypassing state sovereignty. While the country is wooed with rainbow magic, have they now forgiven the government of their many trespasses? How concerned are they about human rights, while removing the Confederate flag in the south? Tearing down one symbol and lifting up another ...
Facebook looks to reduce white share of staff
2015-07-02 3:52
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has voiced a desire to transform the demographics of Facebook's employee base to better echo the company's billion-plus international users. However, Facebook's most recent diversity report revealed that white men continue to have a claim on positions at Facebook. The online social networking service claims that diversity is central to the company's mission, observing &"Our work is producing ...
New DOJ Statistics on Race and Violent Crime
2015-07-02 2:36
Numbers finally include Hispanics as an offender category. Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute has just published a table of statistics on race and violent crime that she received from the Department of Justice. For the first time in figures of this kind, DOJ has treated Hispanics as a separate category rather than lumping them in with whites. These data cover all ...
Fanning the Flames of Another Black Church Arson Hoax
2015-07-02 0:57
America is still reeling from the horrific Charleston, S.C., massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church that claimed the lives of nine innocent people. The last thing the community and our country need are hysterical journalists compounding the pain with inflammatory reporting on an unsubstantiated “epidemic” of black church arsons. On Monday, a Baltimore Sun lead editorial decried “a series of mysterious ...
Cold War Redux: Do you want to fight in World War Three?
2015-07-02 0:04
The rhetoric coming of Washington is pushing us dangerously close to a world changing scenario. In the following episode of CrossTalk, Peter Lavelle discusses the way Russia and Putin are being framed by Western governments and mainstream media with guests including Chris Hedges. The dangers of ignoring historical context when reporting ‘news’ is examined, along with the pure ‘imperial hubris’ of ...
More News »