BIBLE HISTORY DAILY

Pharaoh’s Mummy Reveals Murder, Palace Intrigue

Bible and archaeology news

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.

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.”

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