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Scientists reveal the mystery of Egyptian pharaoh’s death

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Aakash Molpariya
Aakash started in Nov 2018 as a writer at Revyuh.com. Since joining, as writer, he is mainly responsible for Software, Science, programming, system administration and the Technology ecosystem, but due to his versatility he is used for everything possible. He writes about topics ranging from AI to hardware to games, stands in front of and behind the camera, creates creative product images and much more. He is a trained IT systems engineer and has studied computer science. By the way, he is enthusiastic about his own small projects in game development, hardware-handicraft, digital art, gaming and music. Email: aakash (at) revyuh (dot) com

A new study of King Seqenenre Taa II’s mummy has shed light on the cause of his death, which marked a turning point in Egyptian history.

Egyptian scientists conducted computed tomography (CT) studies of the mummy of Pharaoh Seqenenre Taa II and proposed a new version of the events that took place immediately before and after his death.

Pharaoh Seqenenre Taa II ruled Upper Egypt in 1569-1554 BC. His mummy was discovered in the 1880s. The first study, conducted in 1886, identified several serious head injuries that led to his death. 

The real reason for the death of King Seqenenre is of some historical interest, since it indirectly led to the unification of Egypt. 

The opinions of scientists about the circumstances of the death of the pharaoh were divided. Some believed that he died on the battlefield during the battle with the Gigs, others assumed that he was captured in battle and executed, others think that he was killed in a dream as a result of a palace coup. 

Researchers from Cairo University used modern medical technology to find out the details of the ruler’s death without damaging the mummy itself. 

CT scans and subsequent computer processing of X-ray images revealed that the pharaoh’s hands were tied behind his back at the time of death, and the fatal blows were inflicted by five different types of weapons.

“The death of Seqenenre was most likely a ceremonial execution. With the usual execution of a tied prisoner, it is unlikely that the executioner will strike five times from different angles and different weapons. This suggests that Seqenenre was indeed on the front line with his soldiers, risking his life to liberate Egypt,” said the lead author of the study, Dr Sahar N Salim. 

Experts also found that the pharaoh was about 40 years old at the time of his death. 

In addition, it was revealed that the embalmers skillfully hid the wounds on the ruler’s head under a layer of embalming material, similar to fillers used in modern plastic surgery. According to the authors, this means that the mummification took place in a real laboratory, and not in a poorly equipped place, as previously believed. 

The discovery sheds light on a turning point in Egyptian history: the death of King Seqenenre Taa II prompted his successors to continue the struggle to unify Egypt and marked the beginning of the New Kingdom. 

The expert findings were published in the journal Frontiers in Medicine .

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