The Screaming Mummy resurfaces

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The Screaming Mummy resurfaces

Post by newcastle »

Although the Grand Egyptian Museum overlooking Giza Plateau will celebrate a soft opening in December, it is the Egyptian Museum which will remain one of Egypt’s archaeological icons.

To highlight some of its distinguished treasured collections, the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir overlooking Giza Plateau is to exhibit at its foyer and on a weekly basis, three of its artefacts that were located in a hidden display area, repatriated from abroad and stored in the basement.

This week the mummy of Unknown Man E and a gilded cartonnage mask with a shroud are the selected objects going on special display. ... s-scr.aspx

(I assume the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir hasn't been uprooted and we'll put that down to Al Ahram's lazy proof reading. But I digress.)

The appearance of Unknown Man E - otherwise known as "the Screaming Mummy" - in the foyer of the museum has , unsurprisingly, alerted the world's press to this enigmatic Egyptian mummy and the theories surrounding it.

First out of the blocks is The Sun , with its typically lurid headline :

Mystery of ‘screaming Egyptian mummy’ which has baffled archaeologists for years finally resolved. ... -resolved/

Finally resolved??

Hot on its heels, the Daily Mail :

Mystery of the 'Screaming Mummy': Archaeologists say ancient Egyptian buried with a horrifying face of anguish may be a disgraced royal who was HANGED after plotting to kill his pharaoh father 3,000 years ago. ... Mummy.html

Well, that's better than The Sun!

The Mail goes on to assert "DNA extracted from the bones of both the unidentified mummy and Ramses III, indicate the Screaming Mummy is Ramses III’s son, according to Ahram Online."

Not quite (and Ahram should complain about such carelessly worded attributions). As indicated below, the DNA evidence indicates the mummy shared the same lineal male descent as Ramesses III..nothing more. We know from wall reliefs that Prince Pentawaret was a son of Ramesses III. Add these facts together and conclude the mummy is Pentaweret?? Please!

The detailed examination of the mummy was carried out by a team under Hawass in 2012 and its conclusions were :

Results Computed tomography scans revealed a deep cut in Ramesses III’s throat, probably made by a sharp knife. During the mummification process, a Horus eye amulet was inserted in the wound for healing purposes, and the neck was covered by a collar of thick linen layers. Forensic examination of unknown man E showed compressed skin folds around his neck and a thoracic inflation. Unknown man E also had an unusual mummification procedure. According to genetic analyses, both mummies had identical haplotypes of the Y chromosome and a common male lineage. ... ensic-radi

Based on this, the speculation mill, which has been grinding for over a century, gained new life.

Such information as we have regarding the death of Pentawaret is restricted to the famous Harem Conspiracy Papyrus now lodged in the Turin Museum :

"Pentewere, who bore that other name.
He was brought in because of his collusion [with] Tiy, his mother, when she discussed the words with the women of the harem, being hostile against his lord. He was placed before the butlers, in order to examine him; they found him guilty; they left him in his place; he took his own life." ... apyrus.htm

Lucky fellow. Less exalted conspirators would have been executed (by impalement probably) and their bodies burned, ending their chances of entering the hereafter. Those who were merely ancillary to the main plot escaped with their lives...but not their nose and ears.

I suppose committing suicide by hanging yourself is a possibility...although drinking poison might be easier. Anyway, some neck marks have pointed to the former. I'm always a little dubious about these forensic claims - after the toing and froing that occurred for years with the remains poor Tutankhamun.

Much is made of the method of burial...not properly mummified and wrapped in a sheepskin. Evidence of disgrace. Actually, this idea of a sheepskin being unclean is questionable :

" The mummy of Unknown Man E exhibited some very unusual features. It had been enshrouded in some fashion by a sheepskin which still retained its white wool. The fact that wool remained on the sheepskin is an important detail which will be discussed below. The presence of this sheepskin has generated much speculation, primarily because Herodotus had written that woolen garments were considered ritually unclean by the Egyptians. Bickerstaffe points out that no dynastic burial other than Unknown Man E's has been found in which a sheepskin was used as a shroud, and also notes that one ancient Egyptian source, The Tale of Sinhue, does imply that burial in a sheepskin was undesirable."

Herodotus....mmmm...The tour guides of the time (around 450 BCE) had a field day spinning him all sorts of yarns about their ancestors.

Incidentally, the above link takes you to a site about the history & early forensic examination of this, and other mummies...particularly the ones discovered inTomb DB320. Fascinating stuff.

Egyptologists have surmised for a century that Unknown Man E is Pentawaret. I don't think the 2012 examination adds much to the hypothesis.

But his appearance in the foyer of the Egyptian Museum for a week or two has certainly created a lot of press interest, and hopefully increased the Museum ticket sales...if only to the prurient!

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Re: The Screaming Mummy resurfaces

Post by Dusak »

Or he could of just died of tetanus. Lockjaw being one of the affects.
Life is your's to do with as you wish- do not let other's try to control it for you. Count Dusak- 1345.

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Re: The Screaming Mummy resurfaces

Post by newcastle »

An interesting rebuttal of the identification of the screaming man by the redoubtable Dylan Bickerstaffe. ... _Man_E.doc

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