NEW analysis of the remains of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh has revealed he may have been brutally murdered on the battlefield.A recent CT scan of the
NEW analysis of the remains of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh has revealed he may have been brutally murdered on the battlefield.
A recent CT scan of the mummy of pharaoh Seqenenre Taa II uncovered deep facial wounds that embalmers may have tried to hide after his death.
Experts think it’s possible the ruler was attacked by axe, sword and spear wielding enemies.
It appears he was surrounded by every angle because the mummy shows a stab wound to the bottom of the skull, cuts on the cheeks, nose and eye area and a sliced forehead.
Lead author of the recent study Sahar Saleem said: “This suggests that Seqenenre was really on the front line with his soldiers risking his life to liberate Egypt.”
She added: “In a normal execution on a bound prisoner, it could be assumed that only one assailant strikes, possibly from different angles but not with different weapons.
“Seqenenre’s death was rather a ceremonial execution.”
The pharaoh is said to have ruled southern Egypt from 1558 BC to 1553 BC.
At the time a group of people called the Hyksos ruled northern Egypt.
Ancient scripture states that when the Hyksos king demanded a sacred hippo pool in southern Egypt be destroyed because the hippos made too much noise, Seqenenre Taa II revolted against the ruler.
The Hyksos king tried to claim the hippos disturbed his sleep despite living 400 miles.
It’s thought this dispute could have been just one factor in starting the war between the two groups.
The mummy of Seqenenre Taa II was actually found in 1886 but experts have never been sure exactly how he died.
Some suspected a battle death and others suspected murder in his own palace.
Archaeologists in the 19th century unwrapped the mummy and were met with an awful smell.
They thought this could have been due to a hasty embalming on account of the pharaoh’s sudden death away from the royal embalming workshop.
The new non-invasive medical analysis of the mummy has helped to confirm the likelihood of a brutal death from several different weapons.
The researchers think the pharaoh could have had his arms bound together when he died as there is no sign of defence wounds.
Seqenenre Taa II may have died in battle but the Hyksos were eventually ousted from Egypt around 1550 BC.
Salem said: “Seqenenre’s death motivated his successors to continue the fight to unify Egypt and start the New Kingdom.”
The full study has been was published in the Frontiers in Medicine journal.
A brief history of Ancient Egypt
Here’s everything you need to know…
- The Ancient Egyptians were an advanced civilisation who at one point owned a huge portion of the globe
- The civilisation began about 5,000 years ago when ancient humans began building villages along the River Nile
- It lasted for about 3,000 years and saw the building of complex cities centuries ahead of their time – as well as the famous Great Pyramids
- The Ancient Egyptians were experts at farming and construction
- They invented a solar calendar, and one of the world’s earliest writing systems: The hieroglyph
- The Egyptians were ruled by kings and queens called pharaohs
- Religion and the afterlife were a huge part of Ancient Egyptian culture. They had over 2,000 gods
- Pharaohs built huge elaborate tombs to be buried in, some of which were pyramids – at the time among the largest buildings in the world
- The Egyptians believed in life after death, and important people’s corpses were mummified to preserve their bodies for the afterlife
- The Ancient Egytpian empire fell due to a mix of factors, including wars with other empires and a 100-year period of drought and starvation
RED SKY AT NIGHT
How to see Mars with naked eye as Nasa rover lands there THIS week
Dinosaurs ‘were wiped out by comet that pinballed off JUPITER’ 66m years ago
World’s oldest ‘large scale brewery’ created 22,000 litres of booze a year
HELL OFF EARTH
Nasa Mars rover to endure ‘7 minutes of terror’ before landing this week
UAE’s Mars probe sends back images of largest volcano in solar system
Skeleton found on 300-yr-old shipwreck could be ‘wealthiest pirate’ Black Sam
In other archaeology news, an ancient Egyptian brewery has been uncovered at a funerary site in the south of the country.
Human skeletons have been discovered on a 1717 pirate shipwreck just off the coast of Cape Cod in the US.
And, an ancient mummy with a golden tongue has been unearthed in Egypt.
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Tech & Science team? Email us at [email protected]
This post first appeared on Thesun.co.uk