The Mummy X-posed: The face of an Ancient Egyptian priestess revealed after 3,000 years

Posted on 10:41 PM by Sameer Shah

She has lain undisturbed for nearly 3,000 years, sealed in a decorated coffin ready for her voyage to the underworld.

Now the face of Meresamun, a priestess who sang in the temples of Ancient Egypt hundreds of years before the birth of Christ, has been revealed to the world for the first time.

Using a hospital scanner, scientists were able to peer inside her closed casket, and see through the layers of linen that protected her mummified features.

The astonishing three-dimensional pictures reveal her skeleton and her face, apparently with stones placed on the eyes.

Egyptologist Dr Emily Teeter, from the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute museum, where a new exhibition featuring the images opens this week, said: ‘It is so exciting to be able to see this.

‘The mummy is still in the coffin. It is like having X-ray eyes to see the relationship between the coffin, the wrappings and amount of linen used.’
meresamun is thought to have worked and lived in the temple of Thebes around 800BC. Her name, shown in an inscription on the casket, means ‘She Lives for Amun’ – an Egyptian god.

According to the inscription she was a priestess-musician who served as a ‘Singer in the Interior of the Temple of Amun’. The scans suggest she was about 5ft 5in and in her late 20s or early 30s when she died.

The cause of Meresamun’s death is unknown and all the more mysterious since she
appears to have been in good health.

The state of her bones shows she had a nutritious diet and an active lifestyle.

Although she bore no signs of dental decay, her teeth were worn down by the grit in Egyptian bread, which was made from stone-ground flour.

The sealed casket was bought in Egypt in 1920 by James Henry Breasted, founder of the Oriental Institute.

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