Researchers study Egyptian mummies no longerone hundred years. During this time, a variety of specimens have been studied, many of which are simply amazing. For example, we recently talked about the mummies of the Nile crocodiles, which in ancient Egypt were considered a sacred animal. It would seem that mummies cannot surprise more than anything, but each new find continues to amaze. A recent study of the mummy of the "golden boy" is a clear confirmation of this. As the name suggests, this mummy has many golden artifacts, including a gilded face mask. It was discovered a long time ago, and back in 1916, but it was only now possible to carefully study it thanks to modern technologies.
Why the “gold boy” is a unique mummy
Untouched mummies of high-ranking people ortheir family members are a rarity. They have been hunted and plundered for thousands of years. The mummy of the “golden boy” has survived to this day completely intact, and therefore aroused great interest among researchers.
Ever since it was discovered in the southern partEgypt, it was kept in the basement of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. According to scientists, the mummy is in two coffins. That is, inside the outer coffin, decorated with inscriptions in Greek, there is a wooden sarcophagus with a mummy.
To keep the unique exhibit intact,The sarcophagus was not opened, so scientists did not conduct any research for a long time. Now such an opportunity has appeared thanks to computed tomography, which allows you to look inside the sarcophagus and carefully examine the mummy without even touching it.
Sarcophagus with an ancient Egyptian mummy turned out to be a treasury
The age of this mummy is about 2300 years,that is, the boy was buried at the end of the Egyptian civilization. At the beginning of the 20th century, it was discovered in the Nag el-Hassai cemetery, which was used by the ancient Egyptians from 332 to 30 BC.
The study showed that there is a mummy insidea boy who died at the age of 14-15. Scientists came to this conclusion for the reason that his wisdom teeth had not yet erupted. The abundance of wealth suggests that the boy was from a family of high-ranking people, but most likely not of the royal family. White sandals are worn on his feet, while in royal tombs, golden sandals are usually worn on the feet of mummies.
But the most surprising thing that scientists have found insarcophagus - 49 different amulets that were not only on the body of the boy, but also inside him. Moreover, all of them were located in a certain way, which, according to the beliefs of the ancient Egyptians, provided “magical protection”.
For example, in the mouth of a mummy there is a golden tongue,so that the boy could speak with the gods after death. Although having a golden tongue is not uncommon. Previously, we have already talked about such mummies. Near the heart, that is, inside the chest, scientists found an amulet in the form of a scarab beetle with a golden heart. According to Egyptologists, he had to silence the heart at the trial before the gods so that it would not testify against the boy.
On the back of the beetle were engraved certainsigns. Scholars cannot say exactly what they mean, but most likely they are spells written by priests to protect the boy during his afterlife journey. Scientists even created a three-dimensional model of the beetle and printed it on a 3D printer. The golden heart of the scarab is about 4 cm in size. Verses from the “Book of the Dead” were inscribed on it.
“The ancient Egyptians believed in the power of amulets. They were used for protection and to provide certain benefits to the living and the dead,” says Sahar Salim, lead author of the study.
Near the boy's genitals is an amulet withtwo fingers. According to experts, he was supposed to protect the incision on the torso, made as a result of mummification. Thus, each of the 49 amulets performed its specific task. According to the researchers, this mummy is just a showcase of Egyptian beliefs. Even the aforementioned white sandals are worn on the feet for a reason. They, most likely, were supposed to help get out of the coffin.
Who was the "golden boy"
Scientists do not yet know the name of the boy and towhat family did it belong to? However, the researchers found one strange feature on his body - he was not circumcised. The authors of the work report this in the publication Frontiers in Medicine.
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Scientists know that boys in ancient Egyptwere circumcised until the age of 13. The authors of the study suggest that this may indicate the ethnicity of the boy - he could be a foreigner. But, it is quite possible that circumcision in ancient Egypt was done at a later age. Scientists hope that further research will help answer all these questions.
Finally, we recall that according to somescientists, in ancient Egypt, mummies were not created at all in order to preserve bodies for thousands of years. Mummification took place on its own as a result of some of the funeral rites that we talked about earlier.