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MURDERED PHARAOH'S THROAT WAS CUT

 

 

By Culturekiosque Staff

LONDON, 30 DECEMBER 2012 —  Conspirators murdered Egyptian king Ramesses III by cutting his throat, concludes a study in the Christmas issue published by the British Medical Journal.

Ramesses III  — the second Pharaoh of the 20th dynasty  — is believed to have reigned from 1186 to 1155 BC. The discovery of papyrus trial documents show that in 1155 BC members of his harem made an attempt on his life as part of a palace coup.

The conspiracy was led by Tiye, one of his two known wives, and her son Prince Pentawere, over who would inherit the throne, but it is not clear whether the plot was successful or not.

The fate of Ramesses III has therefore long been the subject of debate among Egyptologists.


So a team of researchers, led by Dr Albert Zink from the Institute for 
Mummies and the Iceman of the European Academy of Bolzano/Bozen in Italy,
undertook detailed anthropological and forensic analyses on the mummies
of Ramesses III and unknown man E, the suspected son of the king.

CT scans of Ramesses III revealed a wide and deep wound in the throat of the mummy, probably caused by a sharp blade  — and which could have caused immediate death, say the authors.

A Horus eye amulet was also found inside the wound, most probably inserted by the ancient Egyptian embalmers during the mummification process to promote healing, add the authors. The neck was covered by a collar of thick linen layers.

Analysis of unknown man E revealed an age of 18-20 years, while an inflated thorax and compressed skinfolds around the neck of the mummy suggests violent actions that led to death, such as strangulation, write the authors.

Furthermore, the body was not mummified in the usual way – and was covered with a "ritually impure" goatskin — which the authors say could be interpreted as evidence for a punishment in the form of a non-royal burial procedure.
 
The authors believe that unknown man E "is a good candidate for Pentawere." However, they stress that the cause of death "has to remain a matter of speculation."

Finally, DNA analysis revealed that the mummies share the same parental lineage, "strongly suggesting that they were father and son," they say.

The authors conclude that Ramesses III "was murdered during the harem conspiracy by cutting his throat." They add that the genetic relationship of unknown man E to Ramesses III, and his unusual mummification process, including the ritually impure use of a goat skin to cover the body, makes him a good candidate for Pentaware. Thereby, shedding new light on the harem conspiracy. 

Book Tips

All titles are chosen by the editors as being of interest to Culturekiosque readers.


The Ancient Egypt Guide 
By William J. Murnane

Paperback: 418 pages
Interlink Pub Group; 1 edition (April 2012)
ISBN-10: 1566568587
ISBN-13: 978-1566568586
$25.00


Journey Through the Afterlife: Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead
Edited by John H. Taylor
Hardcover: 320 pages
Harvard University Press; First edition (November 2010)
ISBN-10: 0674057503
ISBN-13: 978-0674057500
$35.00

 

Tele Tip: PBS Television (U.S.A.)

NOVA: Building Pharaoh's Ship
6 January 2013
10:00 pm ET (check local listings across the United States)

 

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TWO VIEWS OF TUTANKHAMUN: KING TUT'S FINAL SECRETS

BROOKLYN MUSEUM AND EGYPTIAN GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCE DISCOVERY OF GILDED LINTEL

HEKA: MAGIC AND BEWITCHMENT IN ANCIENT EGYPT 

EGYPTIAN ART IN THE AGE OF THE PYRAMIDS

KUSH: BLACK AFRICA'S EARLIEST CIVILIZATION

LOUVRE EGYPTIAN GALLERIES: PARIS ON THE NILE

CT IMAGES REVEAL THE HIDDEN FACE OF NEFERTITI



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