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CT Scan Detects Pharaoh’s Fatal Wounds

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Egypt Seqenenre Taa IICAIRO, EGYPT—Live Science reports that a computed tomography scan of the skull of Seqenenre Taa II, who ruled southern Egypt between 1558 and 1553 B.C., has detected additional wounds suffered by the pharaoh. According to an engraving discovered in Thebes, both Seqenenre Taa II and his son, Kamose, were killed in battle against the Hyksos, who invaded and occupied northern Egypt. Radiologist Sahar Saleem of Cairo University said the CT scan revealed a nearly three-inch-long cut in the mummy’s forehead and cuts around the eyes and cheeks that may have been made with an ax. A stab wound at the base of his skull may have been inflicted with a spear. Fractures on the right side of the skull may have been inflicted with a dagger and a blunt object, such as an ax handle. These newly discovered wounds were filled in with embalming material, she explained. It had been previously thought that Seqenenre Taa II was hastily mummified on the battlefield, but Saleem said the work to repair his skull indicates that some care had been taken with the task. There are no signs of defensive injuries on the mummy’s forearms, she added, so Saleem thinks Seqenenre Taa II may have been captured, bound, and executed. Read the original scholarly article about this research in Frontiers in Medicine. For more on the Hyksos, go to "The Rulers of Foreign Lands."

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