Pharaoh's mystery death solved experts say

Last updated 10:44 19/12/2012
Ramses III
MURDERED?: The Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses III.

Relevant offers

World

Allegedly fake Australian gynaecologist on rape charges UK visits to NZ Immigration website spiked after Brexit Boris Johnson will need more than one-liners to unite Tories UNICEF says 25 children reported killed in Syria This Sydney street will be ripped and relaid 24 times Quiz: Have you been paying attention to Brexit Fresh resignations heap pressure on UK opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn After Brexit: What happens now? Goldman Sachs tips post-Brexit UK recession within a year Firefighters make some headway in deadly California blaze

The Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses III, whose death has puzzled historians for centuries, had his throat slit in a succession plot concocted by his wife and son, a new analysis suggests.

New CT scans have revealed a deep and wide cut that was hidden by the bandages covering the throat of the mummified king, which could not be removed in the interests of preservation, researchers said.

"Finally, with this study, we have solved an important mystery in the history of ancient Egypt," said Albert Zink, a paleopathologist at the Institute for Mummies and the Iceman in Italy, which led the investigations.

During the study at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo researchers also discovered a small amulet that was inserted into the king's wound - which Zink said was probably placed there by embalmers hoping it would heal the cut in the afterlife.

Ramses III, often referred to as the last great pharaoh, reigned over Egypt from roughly 1186 to 1155 BC. The exact cause of his death has been fiercely debated by historians.

Papyrus documents at the Egyptian Museum in Turin describe a conspiracy by Tiye, one of his wives, to kill the pharaoh so that her son Pentawere could succeed to the throne.

They suggest the conspiracy failed and all the people involved were punished.

During the latest investigations, a genetic study of a previously unidentified mummy that was found in the same burial chamber as Ramses III revealed it to be a relative, possibly Pentawere.

The study showed that he was probably hanged.

"Furthermore, he was not embalmed in a normal way. They had not removed his organs and he was wrapped in a goat skin, something considered impure in ancient Egypt," Zink said.

Pentawere may have been forced to kill himself as a punishment for the conspiracy, Zink said.

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content