Egyptian Mummies (Humans)

MrRING

Android Futureman
Joined
Aug 7, 2002
Messages
5,714
How To Make A Mummy

German Team Finds Secret of Mummies' Preservation

By Chris Slocombe

LONDON (Reuters) - A German research team has unravelled the mystery of how the ancient Egyptians mummified their dead, using sophisticated science to track the preservative to an extract of the cedar tree.

Chemists from Tuebingen University and the Munich-based Doerner-Institut replicated an ancient treatment of cedar wood and found it contained a preservative chemical called guaiacol.

"Modern science has finally found the secret of why some mummies can last for thousands of years," Ulrich Weser of Tuebingen University told Reuters on Wednesday.

The team then tested the chemicals found in the cedar derivative on fresh pig ribs. They found it had an extremely high anti-bacterial effect without damaging body tissue.

The findings, published in the science journal Nature, will surprise Egyptologists who had thought the embalming oil was extracted from juniper rather than cedar.

The team also tested juniper extracts but found they did not contain the guaiacol preservatives.

Weser said that, despite ancient mentions of "cedar-juice," scholars believed juniper to be the source because of similar Greek names and some mummies being found clutching juniper berries.

Grave robberies forced the ancient Egyptians, who mummified their dead in the hope they would live eternally, to bury deceased leaders deeper. Decomposition was much quicker, meaning they had to find a preservative as well as salting the bodies.

The team extracted the cedar oil using a method mentioned in a work by Pliny the Elder, a Roman encyclopaedist who wrote of an embalming ointment called "cedrium."

Although there are no contemporary descriptions of how the tar was made, modern Egyptologists had overlooked Pliny's account as he was writing centuries later.

The team found their cedar wood tar did contain the key preservative guaiacol. "We could demonstrate the accuracy of Pliny's writings with 21st century science," Weser said.

Crucial to the team's research was finding unused embalming material which had been laid down next to the superbly preserved 2,500-year-old mummy of "Saankh-kare." This allowed them to carry out chemical analysis of tar unaffected by contact with body tissues.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20031022/sc_nm/science_mummies_dc_1
 

Timble2

Imaginary Person
Joined
Feb 9, 2003
Messages
5,996
Location
In a Liminal Zone
Rameses comes home.........

Not making a mummy, but an illustration of how well the process works.

At BBCi:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3215747.stm

There's a picture on the site.

Egypt's 'Ramses' mummy returned


The mummy is believed to be that of the Pharaoh Ramses I
An ancient Egyptian mummy thought to be that of Pharaoh Ramses I has returned home after more than 140 years in North American museums.
The body was carried off the plane in Cairo in a box draped in Egypt's flag.

The Michael Carlos Museum gave it back after tests showed it was probably that of the man who ruled 3,000 years ago.

The US institution acquired it three years ago from a Canadian museum, which in turn is thought to have bought it from Egyptian grave robbers in 1860.

The mummy was welcomed back home with songs and military band music during a ceremony at the national museum in Cairo.

"We are the sons of the Nile. Welcome Ramses, the builder of esteemed Egypt," sang a group of schoolchildren around the coffin.

Zahi Hawass, head of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, travelled from the US with the body and said it would be moved next year to the Luxor Museum in southern Egypt.

"We are not 100% sure that the mummy is that of Ramses I," said Mr Hawass. "But we are 100% sure that it is of a king."

'Great gesture'

Atlanta's Michael Carlos Museum acquired the mummy in 1999, but offered to return it after hi-tech scanning equipment indicated it was likely to be that of Ramses I.

The museum website said it had been acquired from the Niagara Falls museum.


The mummy will be exhibited in Cairo before moving to Luxor
It is thought a Canadian collector bought the mummy for the Niagara Falls institution around 1860 from an Egyptian family which had stumbled on a tomb filled with royal mummies at a site near Luxor.

According to the Atlanta museum's website, the family sold treasures from the site until they were discovered and the tomb - with an empty coffin bearing the name Ramses I - officially revealed in 1881.

Mr Hawass praised the handover as "a great, civilised gesture".

And he appealed to other world museums to return Egypt's antiquities, particularly the Rosetta Stone in the British Museum and the bust of Nefertiti in the Berlin Museum.

Ramses I ruled for just two years but is renowned for founding the 19th Dynasty, which spawned many Ramses - including Ramses II who was on the throne for several decades
 

Timble2

Imaginary Person
Joined
Feb 9, 2003
Messages
5,996
Location
In a Liminal Zone
Maze of Mummies in Eygpt

We don't seem to have a general mummy thread - mods merge if you can find a home for it.

Finding something this size is amazing considering that tomb robbing has been a business opportunity since pharonic times.
Makes you wonder what else is out there in the desert.

At: http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99994926

Underground maze crammed with mummies


15:22 27 April 04

NewScientist.com news service


Archaeologists have discovered an underground maze in Egypt crammed with more than 50 mummies.

The buried network was unearthed in Saqqara, 25 kilometres south of Cairo, by a team of Egyptian and French researchers. They hope studying the contents and layout of the site will reveal new information about the culture of the first millennium BC.


The site may have been maintained by priests for a particular family or a worker's guild.

"It's a maze of corridors with mummies everywhere, right and left, up and down. When people came, there was no more space so they put the coffins in the wall, or they cut another shaft, or they put a mummy above a mummy," said Zahi Hawass, head of Egypt's Supreme Antiquities Council, speaking to Reuters.

The team believes the site was used from about 660 BC to 30 BC, a span that began with an Egyptian cultural renaissance and lasted until the end of the Ptolemaic period, when a succession of 15 Greeks ruled Egypt following Alexander the Great's conquest in 332 BC.

The mummies are wrapped in linen and encased in wooden or stone coffins - and some are exquisitely preserved. "I have never seen ... a mummy from the Ptolemaic period that is so unique, that is well preserved. The linen is covering it in a beautiful way," said Hawass.

Under attack

Nigel Strudwick, a curator in the department of ancient Egypt and Sudan at the British Museum in London, says the fact that the mummies were found in situ will yield clues about the nature of the tombs and the people buried there.

"I suspect this collective burial is more common than we think, but many tombs were heavily attacked by robbers about 180 years ago," he told New Scientist.

Many of the looted artifacts from the tombs have eventually come into the possession of museums. "So we have lots of coffins and mummies," he says, but the context of where they came from has been lost.

Gold charms

The newly discovered network of tombs at Saqqara may have been maintained by priests as a "managed cemetery" for a particular family or a worker's guild, Strudwick suggests.

Hawass believes the linen wrappings of some mummies could conceal a multitude of gold amulets. These charms, some taking the shape of gods, were meant to ward off evil and were commonly tucked into mummies' bandages in the first millennium BC, says Strudwick.

Such discoveries, along with studies of inscriptions on the coffins or perhaps on wooden labels attached to the mummies themselves, will provide archaeologists with a trove of data that is much greater than the sum of its parts.

"When we've got the mummies all together, we can learn something about the way they were buried, how they were arranged, and then we can see the sorts of people who were buried there. An object may be beautiful, but if we know how it was used, it gives us an extra dimension of its meaning," says Strudwick.
 

KeyserXSoze

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Jun 2, 2002
Messages
944
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/2004-08-29-mummies-3d_x.htm
Technology unravels new views of mummies
By Dan Vergano, USA TODAY
London's storied British Museum is shining a fresh light on a 3,000-year-old mummy, pointing to high-tech times ahead for the venerable world of Egyptology.

An ongoing museum exhibit, Mummy: The Inside Story, presents a 3-D look at the unopened mummy of Nesperennub, an ancient Egyptian priest. Using the latest in medical technology, visitors see under the mummy's wrappings and flesh, catching researchers' insights into the art that went into its creation.

"We don't want to unwrap mummies. It's very destructive," says mummy expert John Taylor of the museum's Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan. To avoid that problem, over the past two decades, computerized tomography (CT) scans of mummies have become common among researchers studying such remains, just as X-rays were used in earlier decades.

But now the world of Egyptology has benefited from advances in 3-D computing, in which a basic CT scan is enhanced with laser scans and computer software that teases out fine details inside the unopened mummy case, Taylor says. And they help make a dandy exhibit, one whose narrative film, narrated by Ian McKellen, takes museum-goers back to the Temple of Karnak, outside Thebes, Egypt, for a glimpse of the life of the mummified priest.

For the exhibit, Nesperennub was first CT-scanned and then received laser scanning. Conventional CT scans provide only about 50 slices of a body, but these added laser scanning sessions produced more than 1,500 images, which were then made into a three-dimensional picture.

"What we saw was a real eye-opener," says Afshad Mistri of Silicon Graphics in Mountain View, Calif. This is the firm that created the "Reality Center" computer system that enables researchers to move through the 3-D scan as easily as they would a video game, unwrapping layers of bandages and allowing surprisingly good facial reconstruction.

Leather seals, charms and emblems pinning together various layers of the mummy's wrapping, unseen by earlier scans, appeared immediately. The scans also revealed a metal plate covering the abdomen used to conceal incisions from the removal of vital organs. "This was an experimental process for us," Taylor says. "We were surprised by the quality of the images."

In fact, mistakes made by the embalmers became readily apparent, including the accidental gluing of a resin-filled pot to the mummy's head. The embalmers apparently used the pot to hold wrappings in place until glue had dried, in order to bind the cloth wrapped around the mummy's head. But when they discovered that they had left the pot sitting in place too long, the embalmers buried their glued-on mistake.

"I enjoyed the exhibit," says biological anthropologist Janet Monge of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia. "It was showbiz, though." She believes that the real value in advancing scanning technologies lies in revealing what killed the mummified people.

About 100 Egyptian mummies reside in the British Museum's collection, one of the largest outside of Egypt, ranging from 3,500 B.C. to A.D. 200. Taylor hopes to scan many more, to create a definitive history of mummification practices. "We're learning it wasn't always a sanctified process carried out flawlessly. That tells us a lot about the times then," he says.
 

MrRING

Android Futureman
Joined
Aug 7, 2002
Messages
5,714
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=624&e=16&u=/ap/20041213/ap_on_sc/egypt_mummies

Egypt Unveils 2,500-Year-Old Tomb, Mummies

By ANTONIO CASTANEDA, Associated Press Writer

BAHARIYA, Egypt - Archaeologists unveiled Sunday the tomb of a member of a powerful family that governed a swath of western Egypt about 2,500 years ago, along with a dozen recently discovered mummies from Roman times.

The mummies are among 400-500 located thus far in what Egypt has dubbed the Valley of the Golden Mummies — grounds where thousands were believed entombed. The rare limestone sarcophagus that covered Badi-Herkhib — the elder brother of a governor of Bahariya who lived around 500 B.C. — was discovered last week, allowing archaeologists to more closely study a family that ruled this part of Egypt.

"This family was so powerful, so wealthy, that they could import the limestone from about 100 kilometers (62 miles) away," said Mansour Boraik, a senior archaeologist overseeing the Bahariya site. The large sarcophagus was several inches thick and weighed an estimated 15 tons.

The cemetery, covering about 2 square miles, is located 235 miles southwest of Cairo. Egypt's chief archaeologist, Zahi Hawass, said the discovery of Badi-Herkhib's tomb was unexpected. "As a matter of fact, the family tree did not mention the person we found," Hawass said. He said the tomb was robbed during the Roman era.

A dozen mummies from middle-class backgrounds also were displayed in their family tomb in a different part of the burial grounds. The mummies, most of them in a deteriorated condition, were found in three burial chambers, lying in neat rows. The mummies were part of a group of about 20 found last week. Boraik estimated the cemetery holds about 15,000 mummies. The mummies discovered last week were not gilded, according to Boraik. The Egyptian antiquities council said otherwise last week.

Greek gold coins found with the mummies were believed to be left to bribe the ferryman in the afterlife. X-rays of more than 50 mummies have been taken to allow scientists to examine the causes of death and other details, Hawass said. The Bahariya site, the largest excavation in Egypt, is known for its relics from the Greco-Roman period.
 

sjwk0

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Oct 21, 2002
Messages
341
yes, I watched the live Golden Mummy tomb opening on 5 last night. Had the potential to be interesting, just shame about the female presenter. Understandably, there's a limit to what can be achieved in a 90 minute program, by the time you throw in a few reconstructions and clips showing other discoveries in the area.

The Egyptian archaeologist guy (who I think might have been Hawass? Certainly he had a name like that) seemed to be getting a bit annoyed with her getting in the way in a small trench and several times asked her to help instead of just talking.

Having opened the first chamber, he tried to let her be the first person in but she refused until the safety people had gone and checked it out, saying "it may be life to you, but it's only a job to me". If I'd been there and offered the chance to be first in, I'd have been in like a shot!

Then when he tried to show her something inside, she turned round and came out because the viewers couldn't see her.

Finally, she asks him some questions about what he found, only to cut him off a few words into his reply, because it was time for the other presenter to unveil a replica mummy they'd been making with her face on.

Ok, perhaps I'm being a bit negative about it - the limitation of a live program is being short of time. The Egyptian guy was incredibly enthusiastic and saying in an hour he'd have the stone seals on two other chambers open and unlike the one they did visit which had been robbed, those were completely intact and they would be the ones with the impressive finds. But, tough. No time. Only 10 minutes left in which to look knowledgable.

Steve.
 

pixibelle

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 10, 2004
Messages
23
Yeah I watched this - I agree the female presenter didn't seem that into it.

The egyptian archaeologist was great although quite unpredictable and I did wonder for a minute whether he was really just a nutcase having a laugh, which made it all the more watchable.

Was it a one off prog, or will it be back ? it was getting quite interesting toward the end.
 

sjwk0

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Oct 21, 2002
Messages
341
I think it was a one-off - part of an 'Egyptian weekend'. Or so the Radio Times said anyway.

Location: Kent
Ah, good old Kent. Spent 3 years in Canterbury. Although that makes it sound like a punishment. Come to think of it.... ;)

Steve.
 

pixibelle

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 10, 2004
Messages
23
I think it was a one-off - part of an 'Egyptian weekend'
That's a shame! I was looking forward to a follow up. :(


Ah, good old Kent. Spent 3 years in Canterbury
Yep I am off to Canterbury for xmas shopping tomorrow - can't wait :roll:
 

Mighty_Emperor

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,407
Archaeologists Uncover Bead-Covered Mummy

Wed Mar 2, 4:33 PM ET
By JAMIE TARABAY, Associated Press Writer

SAQQARA, Egypt - Archaeologists uncovered three coffins and a remarkably well-preserved mummy in a 2,500-year old tomb discovered by accident — after opening a secret door hidden behind a statue in a separate burial chamber, Egypt's chief archaeologist said Wednesday.

The Australian team was exploring a much older tomb — dating back 4,200 years — belonging to a man believed to have been a tutor to the 6th Dynasty King Pepi II, when they moved a pair of statues and discovered the door, said Zahi Hawass, Egypt's top antiquities official.

Inside, they found a tomb from the 26th Dynasty with three intricate coffins, each with a mummy.

"Inside one coffin was maybe one of the best mummies ever preserved," Hawass told reporters at the excavation site in the cemetery of Saqqara, a barren hillside pocked with ancient graves about 15 miles south of Cairo.

"The chest of the mummy is covered with beads. Most of the mummies of this period — about 500 B.C. — the beads are completely gone, but this mummy has them all," he said, standing over one of the mummies that was swathed in turquoise blue beads and bound in strips of black linen.

The names of the mummies have not been determined, but the tomb is thought to be that of a middle-class official.

Hawass said the wooden coffins, called anthropoids because they were in the shape of human beings, bore inscriptions dating to the 26th Dynasty, together with a statue of a deity called Petah Sakar. Petah was the god of artisans, Hawass said, while Sakar was the god of the cemetery.

The door was hidden behind 4,200-year-old statues of a man believed to have been Meri, the tutor of Pepi II, and Meri's wife, whose name was not revealed.

Meri also was believed to oversee four sacred boats found in the pyramids, which were buried with Egypt's kings to help them in the afterlife, Hawass said.

"I believe this discovery can enrich us about two important periods in our history, the Old Kingdom, which dates back to 4,200 years, and the 26th Dynasty, that was 2,500 years ago," Hawass said.

According to tradition, Pepi II — the last ruler of the 6th Dynasty — ruled from 2278-2184 B.C., one of the longest reigns in ancient Egyptian history.

Naguib Kanawati, the head of the Australian team from Sydney's Macquarie University, said the site had fallen into neglect after Pepi II's rule and was covered by 50 feet of sand, until it was used again as a cemetery 2,600 years later.

"By that time the art of mummification was perfected to the extreme," Kanawati said.

Archaeologists would begin tests on the mummies to learn more about their medical conditions, including using CT scans, as they were presently doing on King Tutankhamun, Hawass said. The results of Tut's scans will be revealed next week, he said.

Source
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Breakfastologist

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Jul 31, 2001
Messages
917
Meanwhile we learn from this story that Tutenkhamun died of a broken leg or at least that he had a broken leg when he died.

Mr Hawass was talking about it:
"We don't know how the king died, but we are now sure that it was not murder. Maybe he died on his own," he said.

"The case is closed. We should not disturb the king any more. There is no evidence that the young king was murdered."
I expect "Absence of evidence is not the same as evidence of absence" written out 200 times on my desk first thing tomorrow, Mr Hawass.
 

Kondoru

Antediluvian
Joined
Dec 5, 2003
Messages
9,511
<Nods>

So the teenager had an accident in a fast chariot, which lead to his tragically early death??

<shrugs>
 

KeyserXSoze

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Jun 2, 2002
Messages
944
Archaeologists find door 'to the thereafter'Source
Cairo - The discovery outside the Egyptian capital of a particularly well-preserved mummy from the 30th Dynasty was announced on Friday by Egyptian government archaeologists.

Zahi Hawwas, head of the antiquities preservation team, said the find was made in Saccara, where a sarcophagus was discovered beneath a layer of sand. Although numerous ceramic amulets were found at the site, they presented no immediate clue to the identity of the deceased.

In addition to the mummy from a dynasty that ruled between 380-343 AD, two burial gates were discovered, one in honour of Iu-Ib, an official in a temple dedicated to Pepi II, who ruled from 2245-2180.

The other marker, also formed in the shape of a door intended to connect the present to the thereafter, was for a scribe by the name of Chentika. - Sapa-dpa
 

WhistlingJack

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Oct 29, 2003
Messages
3,533
Lummee! Dummy Mummies!!

Massive mummy fraud discovered after 2,000 years

Maev Kennedy

Wednesday June 21, 2006

Guardian Unlimited


Modern medical science has exposed the villainy of the crocodile mummy sellers of Hawara, more than 2,000 years after they defied the edict of a Pharaoh and turned neatly bandaged bundles of rubbish into a nice little earner.

Before the reopening this month of the Egyptian Galleries at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, curators took their animal and human mummies to the city's Addenbrooke's Hospital, as part of a £1.5m re-display of the internationally renowned collection, which dates in part back to the founding of the museum in 1816.

Analysis continues after the mummies were run through a CT scanner and other tests, but the preliminary results are startling. The two baby crocodile shaped mummies were originally sold to worshippers at the temple at Hawara, to be buried in ritual pits as an offering to the god Sobek. There was clearly a history of problems with the animal sellers: a pharaonic decree a century earlier had ordered that each mummy should contain the body of one animal.

The museum's kitten mummy did indeed hold a very small cat, and there was a sacred ibis within the spectacularly elaborate wrappings of another. The crocodiles however were spectacularly lacking in crocodile: one held a minute vertebra, the other a handful of straw, rags and mud without a scrap of any animal content at all.

The museum's single human mummy, collected by Flinders Petrie in the early 20th century, is exceptional. It comes from the Fayum, where the cultures of Ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt met, producing Egyptian-style mummies, sometimes with inscriptions in Greek, decorated with hauntingly beautiful portraits painted in encaustic wax.

Archaeologists have argued since their discovery about whether the images of men, women and children were idealised types or true portraits. Although a reconstruction of the head of one woman for the British Museum showed a close resemblance to her portrait, the Cambridge tests reveal a sadder truth.

The Fitzwilliam's mummy has the image of a dazzlingly handsome young bearded man, with a wreath of gold leaves in his dark curly hair. The tests show the body inside is a disaster, his back and neck broken after death, head crushed onto the chest, and apparently left so long before mummification that only the skin on the inside thighs remains. Work continues to try to establish his age, what killed him - and how wide the gulf was between the real man and the beautiful image.

The Egyptian Galleries at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, open free every day except Monday. http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2006
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
54,773
Location
Eblana
Mummy's tooth yields DNA

Yipppeee! We'll be able to clone him/her.

Mummy's tooth yields DNA
http://www.physorg.com/news175417317.html
October 22nd, 2009 in Other Sciences / Archaeology & Fossils




A mummy in the British Museum. Image: Wikimedia Commons


(PhysOrg.com) -- A four thousand year old Egyptian mummy's tooth has yielded its DNA to probing scientists.

A team of doctors from Massachusetts General Hospital and scientists from Boston's Museum of Fine Arts first tried unsuccessfully to extract genetic material from a piece of neck skin and a finger, recovered from the mummy's tomb in Deir el-Bersha near Cairo. They next tried to obtain DNA from the pulp of a tooth, and after a delicate three-hour operation successfully extracted the tooth and obtained the genetic material.

Dr. Paul Chapman, a neurosurgeon from the Massachusetts General Hospital, who was part of the operating team, was concerned not to disturb the fragile head because of its importance as an artifact. Simply yanking the tooth was not possible, so the doctors approached it via the open neck, inserting a scope fitted with a camera. The first tooth they tried could not be moved, but the second yielded after patient work without damage to the rest of the head.

The tomb, belonging to Governor and Lady Djehutynakht, rulers of the Hermopolis district around 186 miles from Cairo, was first excavated in 1915. Dating from around 2000 BC, the tomb had been disturbed, but the disembodied head, a torso, examples of Egyptian art, other artifacts and scattered mummy wrappings remained.

The DNA should enable the scientists to identify the ancient Egyptian owner's gender, and perhaps learn about its ancestry. The genetic material was deemed so precious that one of the hospital team, Dr. Fabio Nunes, drove the tooth to the New York medical examiner's office himself. The medical examiner's office which was chosen to do the analysis because of its experience with degraded DNA.

Rita E. Freed, from the Museum of Fine Arts, said the 19th century saw the unwrapping of mummies, and the 20th saw the ability to X-ray mummies develop. Now scientists realize you can also examine them for genetic material.

The mummy's head and other artifacts are currently on show at The Secrets of Tomb 10: Egypt 2000 BC in the Museum of Fine Arts, which gives visitors an insight into the lives of people in Deir el-Bersha between 2040 to 1640 BC, during the 11th and 12th dynasty.
 

rynner2

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
54,599
ramonmercado said:
Otto_Maddox said:
what is this modern obsession with dna? so what and who cares? does it prove he is a mummy?
It might prove hes a daddy.
Yep, if he's 4,000 years old he could be the great-g-g-g...g-grand-daddy of us all! ;)
 

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
Joined
Sep 18, 2001
Messages
48,453
Location
Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
My Mum's just had a tooth removed. I'm sure that's got DNA in it as well.
:)
 

Xanatic_

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 8, 2009
Messages
335
I wonder if the mummy´s curse still applies if they are brought back to life with cloning.
 

rynner2

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
54,599
Otto_Maddox said:
what is this modern obsession with dna? so what and who cares?
You don't, obviously.

But there's loads on info out there on the web about DNA, and thousands of people research it, as it affects all our lives, from conception to putrefaction.

It can identify people, family and racial relationships, diseases, etc, etc.

If you really want to know more (and I suspect you don't) you could start here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
29,560
Location
Out of Bounds
Mummy of Egypt's monotheist pharaoh to return home
By PAUL SCHEMM, Associated Press Writer – 33 mins ago

CAIRO – The DNA tests that revealed how the famed boy-king Tutankhamun most likely died solved another of ancient Egypt's enduring mysteries — the fate of controversial Pharaoh Akhenaten's mummy. The discovery could help fill out the picture of a fascinating era more than 3,300 years ago when Akhenaten embarked on history's first attempt at monotheism.

During his 17-year rule, Akhenaten sought to overturn more than a millennium of Egyptian religion and art to establish the worship of a single sun god. In the end, his bold experiment failed and he was eventually succeeded by his son, the young Tutankhamun, who rolled back his reforms and restored the old religion.

No one ever knew what became of the heretic pharaoh, whose tomb in the capital he built at Amarna was unfinished and whose name was stricken from the official list of kings.

Two years of DNA testing and CAT scans on 16 royal mummies conducted by Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, however, gave the firmest evidence to date that an unidentified mummy — known as KV55, after the number of the tomb where it was found in 1907 in Egypt's Valley of the Kings — is Akhenaten's.

The testing, whose results were announced last month, established that KV55 was the father of King Tut and the son of the Pharaoh Amenhotep III, a lineage that matches Akhenaten's, according to inscriptions.

KV55 had long been assumed to be too young to be Akhenaten, who was estimated to be in his 40s at the time of his death — but the testing also established the mummy's correct age, matching the estimates for Akhenaten.

"In the end there was just one solution for this genetic data fitting into the family tree and this showed us this must really be Akhenaten and could not be any other," said Albert Zink, director of the Institute for Mummies and the Iceman at the European Academy in Bolzano, Italy, who worked on the project.

Now experts are planning more tests to uncover further details about Akhenaten's royal family. The new attention could also give a push to a planned new Akhenaten museum that will showcase his mummy near Amarna, his capital midway down the Nile in what is now the province of Minya, 135 miles (220 kilometers) south of Cairo.
In one tantalizing discovery, the testing established that another unidentified mummy was Akhenaten's sister, that he fathered Tutankhamun with her and that she appears to have died from violence with blows to her face and head.

Still elusive is Nefertiti, the chief wife of Akhenaten famed for her beauty. Egypt's antiquities chief, Zahi Hawass, has said one of his goals is to track down her mummy.

"The Amarna period is like an unfinished play," Hawass said at the February press conference announcing the new discoveries. "We know its beginning but have never succeeded in discovering its end."

The discovery of Akhenaten's remains lay to rest longtime speculation over his physical appearance. Royal statues of the time show an effeminate figure with womanly hips, elongated skull and fleshy lips — leading to speculation he suffered from any number of rare diseases that distorted his body.

But the mummy and DNA tests showed a normally shaped man without genetic conditions that might given him both masculine and feminine features.

"It ought to dampen down some of the more dramatic interpretations," said Barry Kemp, who has been working on the Amarna excavations since 1977. "But people do love a good story."

Jerome Rose, of the University of Arkansas, who has been working on the site with Kemp, said the discovery "makes our work at Amarna of greater interest."

What the discovery does not resolve, however, is the mystery of how Akhenaten died. Unlike Tutankhamun's well preserved mummy, which showed he suffered from congenital defects and malaria, Akhenaten's remains are little more than bones with no soft tissues to provide clues to his death.

In fact, the difference in preservation between his skeleton and all the other royal mummies could have been due to his different religious beliefs or animosity by those burying him.

"I think it's another evidence that it really could be Akhenaten; he was treated differently, not in the same way as the other mummies," said Carsten Pusch, of the Institute of Human Genetics in Tubingen, who also worked on the project.
For most of world, King Tut embodies ancient Egypt's glory, because his tomb was packed to the brim with the glittering wealth of the rich 18th Dynasty (1569-1315 B.C.). But Tut was in fact a minor king.

Akhenaten's reign, which began around 1350 B.C., was far more momentous.
He broke with the powerful priests of Amun, Egypt's chief god, repudiated Egypt's many deities and ordered the worship of the sun disk, Aten. He moved his court to his new capital at Amarna, which grew to some 30,000.

Along with the religious revolution, he oversaw a dramatic change in Egyptian art, promoting a naturalist style at odds with the rigid conventions and stiff tomb paintings with which the world is familiar. In one example of the exuberant new style, remnants of a painted gypsum floor from the palace show colorful ducks exploding out of a riot of Nile reeds.

But after his death, he was purged by his successors and remained unknown to the world until the discovery in the 19th century of his royal city at Amarna — one of the only existing ruins of an ancient Egyptian city, rather than just a temple or tomb.
For a Victorian Europe already fascinated by the flood of discoveries in Egypt, news of a monotheist centuries ahead of his time seized the public's imagination.

Theories have swirled over Akhenaten's legacy, with some like Sigmund Freud even speculating he may have influenced Judaism, a theory that, while discounted, has been remarkably enduring.

Unlike the animal and man-shaped deities of Egypt, Akhenaten's cult took a step toward worshipping something more abstract.

"He was prepared to believe only in the supernatural source of power that he could see with his own eyes, the disc or orb of the sun," said Kemp.

Akhenaten also set forth a new moral code. "His courtiers praised him for teaching them to distinguish between right and wrong, and I think it likely that he wrote a treatise of moral guidance that has not survived," he added.

The discovery of Akhenaten's body could be a boon to Minya, one of the poorer provinces in Egypt — ... The museum in Minya will house the mummies of Akhenaten, his mother Queen Tiye and his ill-fated sister-consort and "tell the story about Akhenaten," Hawass said.

SOURCE: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100311/ap_ ... ic_pharaoh
 

HappyBunny

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Nov 5, 2009
Messages
9
There was a program on the Discovery Channel about this a few weeks ago called King Tut Unwrapped. It was really interesting. Akhenaten was his father, all right, but Nefrititi wasn't his mother. And in fact Tut was a father himself--buried with him were two small bodies--premature infants, one of which was stillborn. They did a DNA analysis on the larger one and determined that it was a girl, and that Tut was her father. They didn't mess with the smaller one because it was just too tiny--they would have destroyed it. And they think that Tut may actually have been killed in battle against the Hittites.
 

OldTimeRadio

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
5,521
Akhnaton seems to have not only permitted but encouraged caricature in art, even in depictions of the Royal Family.

So those "distorted" depictions of Ahknaton might very well be considered as the world's earliest political cartoons!
 

rynner2

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
54,599
Uncovered, the pharaohs’ child star
A new exhibition at the British Museum reveals the 3,000-year-old secrets of an ancient Egyptian mummy, containing the skeleton of a seven-year-old singer
[Video]
By Robert Mendick, Chief Reporter
8:15AM BST 11 May 2014

She was perhaps the child pop star of her day – an ancient Egyptian version of Charlotte Church.

Tjayasetimu, who almost 3,000 years ago sang for the pharaohs in temples on the Nile, will star again next week in an exhibition at the British Museum.
The blockbuster show investigates in detail – using the most advanced scientific techniques – the lives and deaths of eight mummies held in the museum’s collection.
In the case of Tjayasetimu, it reveals the story of a little girl, a star singer in the temple, whose secrets were taken to the grave three millennia ago. The Telegraph was given an exclusive preview of the exhibition before its official opening on May 22.

Having been wrapped in bandages and mummified in about 800 BC, Tjayasetimu was an important member of the temple choir – an elevated “singer of the interior” – experts now believe.
The girl, although heartbreakingly young when she died, was a sufficiently important to merit an elaborate mummification, typically the preserve of Egyptian royalty and the wealthiest families.

Tjayasetimu’s remains, enclosed in painted bandages with her face hidden by a golden mask, were sent last year to an NHS hospital in Manchester for a CT scan. The computerised tomography scanner takes a series of X-rays to create images of the inside of the human body. Then, using computer software developed by Formula 1 engineers to examine car engines, the museum’s experts created three-dimensional images, revealing what lies beneath Tjayasetimu’s bandages.

What the curators found was the remarkably well-preserved body of the girl, who stood a little over 4ft tall. The scans showed she still had a full head of shoulder-length hair, her face still in good condition and even milk teeth pushing through her gums.
The discoveries enabled curators to estimate the little girl’s age at about seven years old, possibly as old as nine, and far younger than previously thought. Her skeletal body is almost a foot shorter than the tomb in which she is encased. Why that is remains unclear.

“One of the great discoveries we have made is that her hair is beautifully preserved and long,” said Dr Daniel Antoine, the museum’s curator of physical anthropology. “The features of her face have been very carefully preserved.”

The scans, undertaken at Manchester Royal Infirmary 200 miles from the museum, show the girl’s brain intact and a delicate veil around her face. The scans also revealed the incision in her stomach, showing how her internal organs had been removed as part of the mummification process.
“The rest of her body shows no signs of ill health or long-term disease,” said Dr Antoine, “There is no other evidence of a trauma or that she suffered a violent death.”
It is likely the girl died after a short illness, such as cholera.

etc...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... -star.html
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
33,523
"By King Tut's beard!" sounds like an oath or curse. I dunno, it was fine for thousands of years and now butterfingers makes a hash of it. Maybe it's the curse of embarrassment?
 

CarlosTheDJ

Antediluvian
Joined
Feb 1, 2007
Messages
7,010
Location
Pebble Mill
Aaarrgghhh!

Staring into the eyes of Tutankhamen's mask was the closest thing I've ever had to a paranormal experience.

The face became incredibly lifelike, as though there was breathing and slight movement, and I couldn't tear my gaze away. MrsCarlos experienced exactly the same thing.

You really can stand about a foot away from it, it's incredible. You can even see the tool marks inside.

The tour guide swore to us that the true mask hasn't left the Cairo Museum for over 40 years - all the world tours have been a series of copies.
 

Iris

Justified & Ancient
Joined
May 22, 2004
Messages
2,493
A few years ago there was an Egyptian exhibition out here. One of the mummy cases was that of a woman and when I looked at it it really gave me the creeps. It just gave off a feeling of evil to me. I think it was supposed to have been a sorceress.
 

escargot

Disciple of Marduk
Joined
Aug 24, 2001
Messages
38,609
Location
HM The Tower of London
There's a story about something like that further back in the thread, where a mummy case (or possibly a mask from one, can't remember) creeped people out and became notorious. Some people claimed to have seen the face turn from a beautiful princess into a loathsome, spitting monster or something.

It was in the British Museum and was so troublesome, with its crowds of gawpers, that it was eventually removed from exhibition and only re-shown some time later with just an anonymous number to identify it.

I made that post, and if I can dig out the book I found it in I'll post the number again. I bet we can find it online now and frighten ourselves!
 

Frideswide

Fortea Morgana :) PeteByrdie certificated Princess
Joined
Jul 14, 2014
Messages
14,661
Location
An Eochair
I made that post, and if I can dig out the book I found it in I'll post the number again. I bet we can find it online now and frighten ourselves!


yes yes yessity yes!!!!!
 
Top