Pharaoh’s Mummy Reveals Murder, Palace Intrigue

Bible and archaeology news

The first-ever CT scans of Ramesses III’s mummy have revealed that the powerful XIXth Dynasty pharaoh may have been murdered by members of his own court, as long suggested by ancient documents. The scans showed a deep, 2.7-inch-wide wound to the pharaoh’s throat that was probably caused by a sharp blade and would have almost certainly caused immediate death, researchers say. The findings seem to corroborate ancient Egyptian texts that claim Ramesses III was targeted in a palace coup initiated by one of his wives, Tiye, and her son, Pentawere, a potential claimant to the throne, although reports differ as to whether the assassination was successful. Prior to the scans, there was no obvious evidence that the king’s throat had been slashed, since the mummy’s neck area was completely wrapped in bandages that could not be removed for reasons of preservation. “Before now we knew more or less nothing about the destiny of Ramesses III,” said lead researcher Albert Zink. “We were very surprised by what we found. We still cannot be sure that the cut killed him, but we think it did.”

CT scans of Ramesses III’s mummy have revealed that the powerful XIXth Dynasty pharaoh may have been murdered by members of his own court. The scans showed a deep, 2.7-inch-wide wound to the pharaoh’s throat that was probably caused by a sharp blade and would have almost certainly caused immediate death.

 

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  1. Paul says

    The Papyrus of Harris preserves some of the efforts on the part of this Pharoah to provide domestic tranquility; “I made the women of Egypt to go [with their heads uncovered] to the place she desired, (for) no stranger nor any one upon the road molested her,” and “I sustained alive the whole land, whether foreigners, (common) folk, citizens, or people, male and female.” Ancient Records of Egypt by James Henry Breasted, vol. 4 pp.204-205

  2. Paul says

    Now when Pharoah let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Phillistines, although it was nearer; for God said, “The people may have a change of heart when they see war, and return to Egypt.” So God led the people roundabout, by way of the wilderness at the Sea of Reeds (Exodus 13:17,18)
    It was during the reign of Pharoah Merenptah that the first attempt of the marauding Sea Peoples to invade Egypt failed. “They spend their time going about the land, fighting, to fill their bodies daily” (Breasted, Records of Egypt, vol.3, p.244).
    In the fourth chapter of Homer’s “The Odyssey”, the ship of King Menelaus is stranded on the Egyptian coast along with his men where, “All our supplies would have disappeared and the men’s strength been exausted, if one of the gods had not taken pity on me.”
    The “Odyssey” radically departs from the other work by Homer, “The Iliad” which is about the plundering expedition of the city of Troy with its protagonist, the wrathful Achilleus. It should be remembered that once King Agamemmnon took Achilleus’ female captive “trophy” away, Achilleus lost all incentive to fight and just sat down and sulked.
    A patient man is better than a warrior, and he who rules his temper, than he who takes a city (Proverbs 16:32).
    The vegan Rabbi Nachman of Breslov emphasises the use of meditation and prayer and he says:
    “Know that when you pray in the fields, all the grasses come into your prayers. They help you and give you strength to pray. It is for this reason that prayer is called Sichah. This shares a root with the word for grass, as in, ‘All the grass (Si’ach) of the field…’ (Genesis 2:5). It is thus written, ‘And Isaac went out to meditate (Suach) in the field’ (Genesis 24:63). His prayer was helped and strengthened by the field, since all the grasses fortified and aided his prayer” (Kaplan, Meditation and the Bible, p.312).
    Another Greek poet of the eighth century B.C.E. is Hesiod. In the “Theogony” he relays how the gods came to be as was revealed to him by the heavenly Muses at Mount Helicon while attending his flocks, (not unlike Moses), who sing, “Shepherds that camp in the wild, disgraces, merest bellies; we know to tell many lies that sound like truth, but we know to sing reality, when we will.”
    “Flowers are the things we know,
    Secrets are the things we grow,
    Learn from us very much,
    Look at us but do not touch,
    Phaedra is my name.”
    “Some Velvet Morning”, by Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra


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