A mummified teenager with a heart of gold has been “digitally unwrapped” nearly 2,300 years after being buried.

The remains of the boy, believed to be 14 or 15 years old when he died, were examined through a CT scan, which revealed that his family had planned his safe passage to the afterlife. How long it took to make sure.

The ancient Egyptians believed that when people died, their souls went on a perilous journey to the underworld, where their fate would be judged.

To ensure a positive outcome, somewhere in the afterlife, this particular young man was buried with 49 amulets – including a golden scarab where his heart would have been and a golden tongue inside his mouth. .

This mummy dates back to the Ptolemaic period, when Egypt was ruled by a dynasty of the same name.

It was found in a cemetery used between about 332 and 30 BC at Nag al-Hassaye in southern Egypt during World War I, but left unexamined until now in the basement of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. had gone.

Thanks to new research findings published in the journal Frontiers in Medicine, the mummy was moved to the main exhibition hall under the name “Golden Boy”.

Amulets were placed on or inside the mummy in three columns.  Photo: SN Saleem, SA Siddique, ML Halogi
Image:
Amulets were placed on or inside the mummy in three columns. Photo: SN Saleem, SA Siddique, ML Halogi

How was the boy buried?

Not only was the mummy adorned with 49 amulets, reflecting her high status, but she also wore a guild mask, a breast cartouche on her torso, and a pair of sandals.

“The sandal was probably intended to enable the boy to climb out of the coffin,” said Dr Sahar Saleem, professor of medicine at Cairo University and lead author of the study.

“According to the ancient Egyptian ritual Book of the Dead, the deceased had to wear white sandals to be pious and clean before reciting its verses.”

The mummy was placed inside two coffins – the inner one was made of wood, while the outer one was inscribed with Greek inscriptions.

He was surrounded by ferns, as was an ancient Egyptian tradition.

Dr Salim said: “The ancient Egyptians were fascinated by plants and flowers and believed they had sacred and symbolic effects.”

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The coffin of the mummy.  Photo: SN Saleem, SA Siddique, ML Halogi
Image:
The coffin of the mummy. Photo: SN Saleem, SA Siddique, ML Halogi


Along with having his heart removed, the boy’s brain was removed through his nose.

But it was replaced with resin instead of gold.

His teeth were in good condition, although there was no evidence of disease or cavities.

Researchers have been unable to pinpoint a cause of death other than natural causes.



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