MODERN FORENSICS PROVES ANCIENT EGYPTIAN KING WAS MURDERED
December 18, 2012
(INTERNATIONAL) -- Chalk up another crime solved to modern forensics. And in this case, the crime that was solved happened over 1,000 years before the birth of Christ
Mummy of Egyptian King Ramesses III. Note resin-impregnated bandages about the neck. They solidified over time into a hard, shell-like substance preventing deep slash wound from being seen. CLICK TO ENLARGE
Researchers, working out of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo where the ancient bodies of pharaohs are kept, ran some CT scans and DNA tests on some royal mummies.
And what they found was evidence of a murder.
They discovered that conspirators murdered Egyptian King Ramesses III by slitting his throat.
They know this because the first CT scans to examine the king's mummy revealed a cut to his neck deep enough to be fatal – a crime secret that had been hidden for centuries by the bandages covering the mummy's throat; bandages that could not be removed due to the need to preserve the mummy in tact.
The new research may bring to an end one of the controversies surrounding his death – namely how he died.
Ancient documents say that in 1155BC members of his harem attempted to kill him as part of a palace coup but it was never clear whether the assassination was successful. Some say it was, while other accounts at the time imply the ancient Pharaoh survived the attack, at least for a short while.
Scans of Ramesses III revealed a deep, 2.7 inch (7cm) wide wound to the throat just under the larynx.
Medical scientists say it was probably caused by a sharp blade and could have caused immediate death.
Ramesses III - the second Pharaoh of the 20th dynasty - is believed to have reigned from 1186 to 1155 BC. The discovery of papyrus trial documents show that in 1155 BC members of his harem made an attempt on his life as part of a palace coup.
The conspiracy was led by Tiye, one of his two known wives, and her son Prince Pentawere, over who would inherit the throne, but it is not clear whether the plot was successful or not.
The fate of Ramesses III has therefore long been the subject of debate among Egyptologists.
More on the research into the death of Ramesses can be found here