Mummified “golden boy”, found covered with 49 precious amulets

Mummified “golden boy”, found covered with 49 precious amulets
Mummified “golden boy”, found covered with 49 precious amulets

When a teenager died 2,300 years ago in Egypt, he was mummified and adorned with 49 protective amulets and a golden mask to guide him in the afterlife.

Researchers discovered the amulets placed on and inside the body of the mummified “golden boy” when using computerized tomography scans designed to digitally “uncover” the remains, without disturbing them.

The remains were first discovered in 1916 in a cemetery called Nag el-Hassay, used between about 332 BC. and 30 BC in southern Egypt. Thousands of preserved bodies, many still in their original coffins, were exhumed in Egypt in the 19th and early 20th centuries before being moved to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

Like many others, the mummy remained unexamined at the time of discovery and was moved to the basement of the museum.

Although researchers are interested in learning more about the health of ancient people, as well as the death rites and beliefs of the ancient Egyptians, uncovering mummified remains is a destructive process. In recent years, researchers have used CT scans to look under the skins, leaving the bodies completely intact.

The remains of the “golden boy” were stored in two overlapping coffins. The outer coffin was plain and inscribed with Greek letters, while the inner wooden sarcophagus had patterns. When the researchers scanned the mummy, they noticed 49 amulets with 21 different designs, including a golden tongue placed inside the mouth and a scarab with a golden heart located on the chest, which the ancient Egyptians believed could aid in the afterlife from then on.

The young man, who is believed to be between 14 and 15 years old, also wore a golden mask on his head, encrusted with stones and a protective covering called cartonnage on his torso.

All of his organs had been removed except for his heart, and his brain had been replaced with resin.

The ancient Egyptians believed that after death another life awaits them, but to reach the afterlife a “dangerous” journey was needed. Embalmers were careful to prepare bodies for this passage, and the golden boy was well equipped for the journey, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal Frontiers in Medicine.

White sandals had been placed on his feet, while his body was adorned with ferns.

Although the cause of death is not clear, CT scans showed that the boy was 128 centimeters tall and had an oval face, small nose and narrow chin.

His identity remains unknown, but good dental hygiene, the quality of the mummification and the amulets suggest he had a high socio-economic status, according to the study.

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The article is in Romanian

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